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The Murmur of Bees

Narrated by: Xe Sands, Angelo Di Loreto
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Summary

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.

©2019 by Sofía Segovia. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. English translation © 2019 by Simon Bruni.

Critic reviews

“Acclaimed Mexican author Segovia’s first work translated into English is a gorgeous novel of family, friendship, land, and murderous envy, a tale reminiscent of Isabel Allende’s early tales…With the help of a gifted translator, Segovia skillfully envelops readers, fully engaging their senses and imagination in this wonderful novel.” --Booklist

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Listen for life

If you are at a place in your life where you question who or what you are and what is life about. this book may resonate with you., The use of such imagery makes you feel you are right beside Franco as he grows and changes and accepts life's gifts, 'even the ones wrapped in a loss. This is a book about family, hope, love, and acceptance. I would recommend it to anyone. The Narrators of this book contribute so much to taking you to the small Spanish towns it is no wonder you are transported to Spain and can see the bees everywhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book I've read in years!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters came alive with the narration. A truly moving novel which I highly recommend to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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May the Murmur Never End

Loved this gentle yet powerful special story. Relationships, love, loyalty, and so much more. Yet not a twee or Hollywood romance, very real and yet magic. Didn't want it to end and although it has the murmur of Bees will stay with me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SRC
  • www.talkingtrees.com
  • 16-10-19

Beautiful book

Amazing, beautiful, lyrical book. The narrators of this book brought it to life in a fantastic, hypnotic way. I fully recommend this book.

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  • B. Saxon
  • 08-06-19

One of my TOP TEN FAVORITES “The Murmur of Bees”

When I first started this book I thought “nope, it’s not for me, I’ll return it.” Boy, am I glad I didn’t. After the introduction, which confused me a bit, and the characters started materializing, the story took off and was AMAZING! The prose, the intricate way the past and present wove around each other, the characters, were all so well balanced and just plain enjoyable.
Honestly though, i would have enjoyed the book if I read it, but listening to it on Audible, I not only enjoyed it but I REALLY ENJOYED IT. I SOAKED IT IN. The narrators: Xe Sands and Angelo Dundee Loreto, brought the story to life, I could feel, smell, hear each character, each season, each anguish. I heard the bees murmur. Both narrators are the top of the top. Listen to this on audible. You won’t be disappointed. Have tissues at the ready, and don’t listen while driving through rush hour traffic, or you may have to pull over and have a visit with your Kleenex.

66 of 68 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vmcg
  • 11-05-19

One of the best books I listened to ever!

For me, this book ranks up there with some of the best books I've read, either in print or the audio version. If you loved A Gentleman in Moscow and maybe A prayer for Owen Meany or The Weight of Ink you will love this book. It develops slowly but the author fleshes out the characters with such detail you will come to know each one personally. I admit, it takes a bit to get started and initially I didn't like the female reader. However, I came to love her style and quiet tone, she was a perfect choice for the book!

53 of 55 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Addicted to Audible
  • 07-07-19

Beautiful, mesmerizing, heart breaking....and life

I loved this book. it really surprised me. it starts slowly but the mystery of where it is headed and how grabs you and before long it is rolling along. The fantasy elements are written so subtly and fluidly as part of the story that I didn't feel like I was reading a "fantasy" or 'magic" book, it is more like the lives it describes, intertwined and part of each other. Though it is a translation I found the writing lyrical and almost like poetry at times, just beautiful. There are wonderful moments but be warned - this story is more about heart breaks and how we keep living despite them rather than about lives filled with joy. There is reconciliation and joy, though. The narrators were wonderful, rhythm, pace and accents spot on with the tone of the story.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • StacieB
  • 19-09-19

Excellent!

Such a beautiful story! The author took me on a full range of emotions...fear, joy, sadness, and wonder! As if that wasn’t enough, this is hands down the best narration I have ever listened too! I can’t wait to listen again!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • StJohn
  • 24-04-19

AMAZING.......

5 stars. I will recommend it over and over. Beautiful writing, characters, story. Loved it!

44 of 48 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-19

A wonderful addition to the sparse genre of magical realism

I loved this story. Finally—a wonderful addition to the genre of magical realism! We need more of these. I felt like I was listening to a beloved relative or friend personally tell me their story. I could have listed to the performers voices forever. Please translate her other stories into English.

49 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • chris
  • 27-05-19

Hoping and waiting, but nothing...

This is one of those books where you either make the connection or you don't. If you do then you will not be bothered by the pacing of the story, but if you don't, you will have a difficult time staying focused, you'll keep hoping, wating for something impactful to the story to happen. When nothing ever happens, you'll just give up.

Both narrators are amazing. I think the problem for me is the characters were not developed in a way I could actually care about or connect with them. The main character was the most interesting which was who the book sort of centers around, but because the story shifts between time periods, it made it difficult to connect. It's like a member of your family that you don't know because they aren't around enough, You want to know them and have things to discuss, but you just don't because of the finite time you have to interact. This is how the back and forth time element feels.

I have stopped listening, because at the halfway point nothing much has changed and it's either going to happen in the next couple of hours, or at the end, or not at all. The fact that I'm not able to connect with the storytelling halfway in is a sign that I'm most likely going to be even more annoyed if I keep investing.

I may one day try the book again, but for now, it's taken me almost a month to get through 14 hours when I just listened to a 28 hour book in half the time.

If you make the connection you'll most likely enjoy, but if you don't after 3 hours, you most likely never will.

53 of 59 people found this review helpful

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  • Books on our Brains Society/ Barbara
  • 15-07-19

Magical realism during sickness and revolution

First, let me note that the narration of this book was absolutely excellent. Angelo Di Loreto performs the voice of Francisco with deep emotional connection to the story. Xe Sands performs the exposition sections with the cadence and emotion you would expect from this reminiscence of a slower agrarian lifestyle. The story unfolds as a history of a family, and a remembrance by the main character, Francisco, of his childhood protector and friend. This book will not be everyone's taste as the pace is slow, with lush descriptions and deep emotions. You will know the ending of the book fairly early on, but the journey is worth it.
I give the story a 4.75, only for a short section toward the end that drags on unnecessarily long.
If you have enjoyed the books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you will enjoy this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jerry Thomas
  • 27-09-19

Exquisite writing and outstanding naration

Beautifully written, beautifully translated and beautifully performed. Yes, it takes a commitment of time but it is well worth it. I haven't heard better.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tamara B.
  • 31-10-19

A spectacular story

Let me start off by saying....WOW! This story really took me by surprise as I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. This gem has moved onto my top 10 list of 2019. I listened to the book on Audible as time isn't on my side when it comes to actually sitting down and turning the pages of a physical book. I must say that I am glad I listened to the book because the narrators, Xe Sands and Angelo Di Loreto really brought this story to life with their amazing voices. During one scene, Xe Sands' emotional narration came out so real and life-like, it brought me to tears as I felt what the mother was feeling at that moment....sorrow, desperation and raw feelings for the loss she was feeling about her husband and the hope that her son would be soon be found. Truly a wonderful performance by both narrators, but Xe Sands totally nailed it with this book.

This story was amazing and it will stay in my heart for a long time. Thank you Sofia Segovia for writing such an emotional, beautiful and thought-provoking story and big thanks to the narrators for bringing the story to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful