Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The outstanding new novel from the Sunday Times Top 10 best-selling author of The Garden of Lost and Found.

'It's a funny old house. They have this ceremony every summer.... There's an old chapel, in the grounds of the house. Half-derelict. The Hunters keep bees in there. Every year, on the same day, the family processes to the chapel. They open the combs, taste the honey. Take it back to the house. 'Half for them' - my father winced, as though he had bitten down on a sore tooth. 'And half for us.'

Catherine, a successful barrister, vanishes from a train station on the eve of her anniversary. Is it because she saw a figure - someone she believed long dead? Or was it a shadow cast by her troubled, fractured mind?

The answer lies buried in the past. It lies in the events of the hot seismic summer of 1989, at Vanes - a mysterious West Country manor house - where a young girl, Jane Lestrange, arrives to stay with the gilded, grand Hunter family, and where a devastating tragedy will unfold. Over the summer, as an ancient family ritual looms closer, Janey falls for each member of the family in turn. She and Kitty, the eldest daughter of the house, will forge a bond that decades later is still shaping the present....

'We need the bees to survive, and they need us to survive. Once you understand that, you understand the history of Vanes, you understand our family.' 

©2021 Venetia Books Limited (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about The Beloved Girls

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A quite different Harriet Evans

I've just finished this with a smile on my face but to be honest it was a long time coming. I definitely think this will be a marmite book if you, like me, are a fan of this author. It was almost like she'd been told to 'uplevel' her writing style and this did distract from the story a little, lots of descriptive language and needless sub plots. All that said I did enjoy it, but for me not one of her best.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Rather disappointing.

The story started for me with such promise and was of great interest as the story was based in the area which I live. Unfortunately my interest waned as I found the tale terribly slow and I struggled to listen to the whole story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too Long

Like another listener of this book I thought it started out well and I did enjoy the references to the late 1980's.
Sadly I thought the book was unnecessarily long and found some of the characters were not fully explored or their parts in the book explained sufficiently.
The biggest disappointment however was reaching the end to have no definite conclusion as to what happened to one of the main characters!! I found it hard to believe from the way her character had been portrayed throughout that she would behave the way she did at the end and again no explanation for this.
The narrator's voice for me was a little too posh and mature and not well suited to the two young girl characters she was reading, but thought she read well the parts of two of the older women.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Late nights warning!

A fabulous story, hooked from the opening chapter. Great narration. highly recommend to others. kept me up late on several nights .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deeply moving, utterly gripping

I got this as fluffy convalescent reading but was blown away. Harriet Evans has upped her game hugely - this is a world away from her other novels and really quite outstanding. I don’t suppose she will get the full recognition she deserves, now she has been pigeonholed (and of course she is a woman writer!) - but I salute her and am humbled by my own assumptions. It resonated with me particularly as a 50 year old professional woman who experienced some of the traumas and experiences described in the book. So thank you, Harriet Evans, and thanks also to Siobhan Redmond for such a vivid rendering of this surprising, ambitious, passionate and compassionate book.