Objective rating: 4.5/5
I was taken in by this eleven-year-old girl whose mother left home without warning and whose father became her sole caretaker. A beekeeper, Nate Singer has to take Lissy out of school when he goes on his rounds for a few days or weeks at a time, transporting his bees in their hives to farms away from home. Most of the trips take place in summer, however, during those memorable bee summers. On these trips, Lissy learns more about bee pollination and meets different people to open up her world even more. She becomes closer to her dad and forms a bond with him and some of his friends.
I was less involved or sympathetic with Lissy the adult, who becomes estranged from her father later in life. Lissy only finds out the secrets of her mother after his death. Call it a cultural thing, but it was hard to make the jump from the young girl to the independent adult who hardly ever saw the father she had been so close to as a child. It was also hard to understand the father who let her go.
The book is inviting and moving in many parts, the writing excellent, and the young Lissy and her father Nate both individuals you could understand and sympathize with during the first part and at the end of the book. It's a bittersweet novel of a girl growing up and dealing with a past, the disappearance of her mother, that has always puzzled and haunted her. I heartily recommend this well written book, one that is very much character driven.
Publisher description: The spring Melissa (Lissy) Singer is eleven years old her mother walks out of the house and never returns. That summer Lissy's father, a migratory beekeeper, takes her along with him on his travels. The trip and the people she meets change her life. Over the years that follow, Melissa tries to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance and struggles to come to terms with her loss.
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