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The Murmur of Bees (2015)

by Sofía Segovia

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8903124,453 (4.15)50
From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel--her first to be translated into English--about a mysterious child with the power to change a family's history in a country on the verge of revolution. From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can--visions of all that's yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats--both human and those of nature--Simonopio's purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.… (more)
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English (27)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Francisco Morales is the heir to the lands of his father. Like most of the landowners in the town of Linares, in northern Mexico, his main crop is sugar cane. But an abandoned baby with a cleft palate, wrapped in a blanket of bees, who old Nana Reja finds under a bridge, eventually brings Francisco and his wife Beatriz, who become his loving godparents, good fortune. This baby, Simonopio, is gifted with sight, both present and future, and is irrevocably connected to his protective swarm of bees. And the bees ultimately help Francisco preserve his family lands for his own children – amid the backdrop of the Mexican revolution and ever-changing land reform – by leading him, through Simonopio, to orange trees. At moments, I was reminded of Isabel Allende’s The House of Spirits, in general, and also Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, in the magical realism aspects of the story. Beautiful story. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
A enchanting story conceived from a small village in northern Mexico. A fantasy in some ways, but more a story with a parable. REVIEW BY JO ANN BUTLERFrom his birth in 1910, it is clear there is something unusual about Simonopio Morales. It isn?t just the birth defect which disfigures the infant?s face and robs him of speech ? when old Nana Reja finds the little boy abandoned under a bridge in Linares, Mexico, Simonopio is blanketed by bees. Though some mutter that the child was disfigured by the devil?s kiss (or the devil himself) the Morales Cort?z family, a prosperous farming clan, adopts Simonopio to raise as their own.Over the ensuing years, the family witnesses marvelous events. Some, like the Spanish Flu of 1917, the 1910 Revolution?s land seizures, or a tenant?s jealousy, prove more tangible threats than demonic possession. Through it all, Simonopio repays the Morales? kindness many times over: tending the ancient woman who rescued him or retrieving young Francisco Morales when he strays. It?s clear that there is far more to Simonopio than the swarm of bees which follows him everywhere ? the Morales have a protector with near-supernatural abilities.The Murmur of Bees, an award-winning novel by Mexican author Sofia Segovia, intrigues from the start. Ms. Segovia combines a subtly magical atmosphere and unique, yet believable characters with kinetic narration to craft a story with broad appeal. I particularly loved Ms. Segovia?s vivid depiction of northeastern Mexico, letting this reader explore the area?s pastoral farms and rocky hillsides with Simonopio and his murmuring bees. You will enjoy The Murmur of Bees too!
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
The Murmur of Bees has been on my Kindle for a long time. I was prompted to finally read it as part of the Kindle challenge for Hispanic Heritage Month. And what a book: historical fiction set during the Mexican Revolution, focusing on the time period when Mexico was also ravaged by the flu. It is the story of the wealthy Morales family struggling to keep their land and farm as the government closes in to take over. It opens with magic as an old grandmother leaves her rocking chair and brings back a baby covered by bees. The infant is disfigured, seems unable to speak, and while the family welcomes it, others in the community believe it is a demon. And thus the tragedy is set from the beginning. Magical elements were woven throughout the tale and I was mesmerized. ( )
  witchyrichy | Oct 13, 2023 |
An orphan with a cleft palate and covered with bees joins a wealthy ranchers family and helps the family weather the shariah reforms of the Mexican Revolution. ( )
  mojomomma | Sep 5, 2023 |
Me gustó, me gustó mucho y la verdad es que tenía pocas expectativas con este libro, entonces fue muy grato ir disfrutando la lectura. Novela Histórica con un toque de realismo mágico que hace su lectura muy disfrutable. ( )
  uvejota | Jul 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Segovia, SofíaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bruni, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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That early morning in October, the baby's wails mingled with the cool wind that blew through the trees, with the birdsong, and with the night's insects saying their farewell.
Quotations
How did one woman persuade an entire foolish nation to lay down its arms, return to work, and start producing again? How did a woman pretend that the events happening around her did not affect her? What could she do to change the trajectory of a bullet? Of ten bullets? Of a thousand?
Itching’s a sign of healing, his mother always said. Well, now he had his own version: If you’re bored, you’re getting better.
His godfather proudly told him that he had cured him with his sinapism, and Simonopio would never refute it: one should never contradict an act of love.
Francisco Morales had never been one of those people who go through life saying, See, I told you so. In fact, he hated comments like that—what did they achieve? They were just wasted words, when there was no longer any way to repair the damage.
As long as there were those that coveted their fellow man’s land, there would be no peace. There would be no security.
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From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel--her first to be translated into English--about a mysterious child with the power to change a family's history in a country on the verge of revolution. From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can--visions of all that's yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats--both human and those of nature--Simonopio's purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.

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