The Murmur of Bees


Sofia Segovia

The Murmur of Bees is a family Saga that contains magical elements.  The Morales family are wealthy landowners living near Linares, Mexico.  The patriarch and matriarch are Francisco and Beatriz Morales, hardworking and respectable citizens focused on caring for their family as well as their community.

The book spans decades but encompasses events such as the Spanish Flu and is set throughout against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution. Several narrators are used but the common theme throughout the book is Francisco and Beatriz’ godson Simonopio who is found at birth lying under a bridge and surrounded by bees.  Simonopio has a birth defect – a misshapen mouth that I inferred to be a cleft palate.  Simonopio has special powers.  The bees swarm around him and serve as a protector.  It is evident early on that Simonopio can detect tragedy before it takes place.  Sometimes he is fortunate enough to intervene in time and at other times, he is not as fortunate.

Simonopio is a son in the eyes of the Morales family even though he has strange ways like living with the bees and wondering off for days at a time.  The story shares how Simonopio is both protector and teacher to his godparents and brother.  The story has some magical elements but given that the story takes place over a century ago, the pieces all fit together nicely.

It took me a while to get into the book but I was anxious to understand what happened at the end and was glad that I hung in there for the ride.  This book transports the reader to another place and time, and while many readers may not be familiar with the history of Mexico, the author does a respectable job of helping us understand the backdrop without allowing the additional information to overtake the story.  You must be in the mood for drama and magic so don’t be afraid to buy the book and let it sit on your shelf until the right moment presents itself.