Being Women

The Murmur Of Bees: Magical Realism Blends With Love, Loss, And Legacy.

Review of the book, "The Murmur Of Bees' reminds us to cherish each moment, as time is precious.

Title: The Murmur of Bees I 471 pages I Kindle Edition

Author: Sofía Segovia

Sofía Segovia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. She studied communications at Universidad de Monterrey, mistakenly thinking that she would be a journalist. But fiction is her first love. The Spanish edition of her bestselling El murmullo de las abejas (The Murmur of Bees) was an Audie Award winner and named Novel of the Year by iTunes. This English translation by Simon Bruni, narrated by Xe Sands and Angelo Di Loreto, was one of Audible’s Top 10 of 2019 and a Voice Arts Award winner.

Translator: Simon Bruni

He translates literary works from Spanish, a language he acquired through total immersion living in Alicante, Valencia and Santander. Simon’s many published translations include novels, short stories, video games and nonfiction publications spanning journalism, social geography, food security and history. His most well-known translations include Sofía Segovia’s The Murmur of Bees, reaching a substantial global readership.

Published: First published March 1, 2015 (Amazon) Original Publication in Spanish.


The Plot

“The Murmur of Bees,” set in the post-World War II period, follows the journey of an abandoned child, Simonopio, who unexpectedly enters the life of an influential landowning family, Morales, in a small city in Mexico. Most of the family showers their love and affection on him, and he is taken into their fold and grows up as their own. In turn, the gifted child, who possesses heightened senses of sight and smell, makes it his life’s mission to protect and care for his adoptive parents and their own.

This affection between the child and his godparents, who have loved him unconditionally alongside children of their own, forms the crux of this beautifully penned book. However, with all the good faith and hard work that they have shared over the years, the Morales family has made their fair share of enemies who will not stop until they hurt them in their convoluted sense of evil and justice.

Unique Perspective

Using elements of magical realism, the author of this book has demonstrated how Simonopio, time and again, foils these attempts to hurt the people he has come to adore. How his ability to see the future and think about the result of actions can change many outcomes, but not fate altogether. Most of the narrative is a first-person account of the boy, who collates the experiences of his predecessors, his own, and other points of view. His powers at times may seem like magic, but the simplicity of the actions depicted will keep the reader hooked.

Prevalent themes

This is a story of love, sacrifice, patience, devotion, and vengeance – not necessarily in that order. It is a story that makes us laugh and empathise with the characters, that makes us believe in small magical moments and absorb them in the same way that we accept the real ones. It brings forward human nature and how we cling to beliefs, no matter if they are right or wrong, and this in turn makes us take decisions that result in life or death. Using the allegory of the bees, the writer has illustrated beautifully that a power is always guiding us if we care to listen.

Engaging Prose

The style of writing is quite lucid and engaging. The multi-dimensional narrative is quite well-implemented and engrossing. The book tends to slow down slightly in the middle chapters after a lovely beginning, but more than makes up for it with a good ending. The characters are well sketched out and meaty, which helps the reader stay engaged.

An Immersive World

While there are many lines from the book that stood out for me, one thought that truly hit home was

It doesn’t matter whether time passes slowly or quickly. What you can be sure of is that, in the end, all you want is to have more. 

And that is so true for so many things in life, once it gets over, we wish to have had more.

For now, I would recommend this book to fellow readers, I believe you will not be disappointed.

Reviewer Rating – 4/5


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