Carolina's friends are planning fabulous summers, filled with shopping and pool parties and sleepovers. But not Carol, age 12. She's stuck in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her family prepare the family ranch for sale and prepare Grandpa Serge for his move into an assisted living home.
The ranch is a haunted place that feels like it hasn't seen rain in 100 years (and, according to Grandpa Serge, it hasn't). Here, in this dusty and parched landscape, poisonous snakes and hungry coyotes roam. Then there are the ghosts of the past. But strangest of all is Grandpa Serge, who has dementia and won't stop rambling about bees and drought. Often he is caught in the past, but sometimes he seems oddly alert for a man with his condition. At first, Carol is afraid of him. He is often cranky. But she gradually warms to the old man, who enchants her with fairy tale-like stories about a long-gone village built on the edge of green-glass lake, a magical tree that gave immortality to those who lived there, and the bees that kept the magic alive. He tells these stories as if they are true, and swears that the bees will return and bring back the magic. Soon, Carol is wondering if these might be more than just stories. Because what if?
Author Lindsay Edgar's middle grade novel Hour of the Bees is pure magic. Character development, especially the relationship between Carol and Serge, is fantastic. And the settings are so vividly-described you (the reader) feel as if you are there!
This one is amazing! You should read it! --AJB