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The Murmur of Bees

Narrated by: Xe Sands, Angelo Di Loreto
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (51 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.

Sovas Award - Audiobook Narration - Fiction, Best Voiceover - 2019

©2015 by Sofía Segovia. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. English translation © 2019 by Simon Bruni.

Critic reviews

An Audible Best of 2019 | Top 10 and Best Fiction

"And Sofía Segovia is proof that magical realism is still evolving and breaking barriers." --Tricia, Audible editor

"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 listeners say about The Murmur of Bees

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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 people found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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Beautiful and haunting

I am not sure I could have read this book and enjoyed it as much in paper format because the narrator’s were so talented bringing the story to life. This story will remain with me.

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Beautifully Narrated Magical Realism

Set in rural olden days Mexico, this book has an interesting, well paced plot. You are quickly immersed into the recollections of two alternating narrators - one a man and one a woman. The author deftly addresses all of the senses throughout; bees are a constant feature and as such you are invited to smell the sweet nectars they pursue, feel the buzzing fluttering wings brushing against your skin, but also smell the crisp fresh cotton of sheets hung out to dry on warm summer Tuesdays and other 'everyday' occurrences. The daily rituals and general life of this Mexican house and its occupants are detailed across multiple generations and skilfully combined with fantastically magical phenomenon to create a world that is both familiar and strange. I would very much recommend this book.

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  • D
  • 14-02-20

Glorious

I cannot rate this book highly enough... 10 stars. Unforgettable story brilliantly read by the narrators. It is finished and I feel i am mourning lost friends.

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magical realism with bees

Mexican magical realism with bees, easy sell to me but ended up being more hard hitting emotionally than I thought. War and revolution. Violence and assault and murder. Epidemic and disability. And a lot of emotions about family I don't feel like enjoyed is the right word for this book but I'm glad to have read it. It's very well constructed. The audio narration adds a whole other level of immersion that is wonderful.

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Wonderful book

I loved this book. Anyone who enjoys Gabriel Garcia Marquez will really enjoy this. Inspiring, beautifully written and wonderfully narrated

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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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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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  • 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!

188 people found this helpful

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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.

91 people found this 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.

61 people found this helpful

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  • Eileen
  • 23-11-19

Hard to listen to

The story goes back and forth through time without connecting why. At first did not know who the man's voice was representing. The woman's voice is better. It meanders.

29 people found this helpful

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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.

175 people found this helpful

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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!

61 people found this helpful

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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.

41 people found this helpful

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  • StJohn
  • 24-04-19

AMAZING.......

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

72 people found this helpful

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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.

76 people found this helpful

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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.

151 people found this helpful