Friday, 26 July 2019

The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia + #Giveaway

The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia
First published in Spanish as El murmullo de las abejas by Lumen in Mexico in March 2015. English language translation by Simon Bruni published by AmazonCrossing in April 2019.

A 2019 New Release Challenge and one of my 2019 COYER Summer Hunt reads
One of my WorldReads from Mexico

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the day old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican village 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.

I do love reading Latin American magical realism novels! I know the genre isn't to everyone's taste, but if it's to yours then I would highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of The Murmur Of Bees to read this summer. I can't comment on the original Spanish, but Simon Bruni's English language translation kept me glued to every page of this historical epic. Segovia weaves the story of a cleft-lipped boy, Simonopio, who has a strange affinity with bees around the genuine happenings in Mexico throughout the 1910s and beyond. This is very much the tale of a family, not just one person, and I appreciated the point of view changes which allow readers to observe events from varying perspectives across the years. Simonopio is a wonderful creation. He is an almost silent boy due to his disfigurement, yet I could completely believe in the relationships he establishes without the need for speech. The generations of the Morales family find their lives deeply affected by this adopted child.

Historically, The Murmur Of Bees felt authentic and very well researched. This was a particularly tumultuous time in Mexican and global history and I could clearly feel repercussions of The Great War and its aftermath, the Spanish flu epidemic, in the small town of Linares. The flu outbreak is particularly poignant and moments such as a brief scene of geriatric card players are vividly memorable. Surprisingly for me, as much of the story focuses on negative events, I didn't find The Murmur Of Bees to be a depressing read. The main characters are certainly put through the ringer on a number of occasions and there are chillingly dark narrative threads which evoked strong senses of foreboding for me, however I think I would describe this as a heartwarming novel overall. Segovia has penned a compelling story of family, loyalty and patience.

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is a Kindle copy of The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia.
Open until the 9th August to anyone who can receive an Amazon UK gifted ebook.

The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia ebook giveaway

This giveaway is not connected with the author or Amazon. I will personally be gifting a copy of the ebook to the giveaway winner because I loved it so much!
The giveaway closes at midnight (UK time) on the 9th August and I will pick a winner on the 10th. That winner will have three days to respond to my email otherwise the prize will be forfeit. And, yes, I Will be checking that the winning entrant actually completed the winning task!

Etsy Find!
by Casa Otomi in
Coyoacan, Mexico

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Sofia Segovia / Historical fiction / Books from Mexico


  1. You're right, the genre definitely is not for everyone, but I LOVED The House of the Spirits.

    1. Can you believe I've not yet read The House Of The Spirits? It's one I keep meaning to pick up, but somehow always postpone :-/

  2. I love that bright cover!

    1. It's a beautiful design and perfect for the story

  3. oh what a great find! You know ho wmuch I love MR! just bought it! $1.99 kindle plus $1.99 audio sale Great review Steph! toalking about Mexicoooooo you are reading The Pan's Labyrinth!!! My all time fav movie by my all time fav Director. I'm on a loooong waiting list for the audio in my library. Can't wait to compare notes!

    1. Fingers crossed you love The Murmur Of Bees as much as I did!
      And you're in for a real treat when you finally get that Pan's Labyrinth audio from the library. I thought the novelisation was sooo good, not just a rehash of the film :-)

  4. Congrats to Christopher G who's won the copy of The Murmur Of Bees by Sofia Segovia in the #LiteraryFlits #giveaway!
    If that's not you, there's lots more #giveaways here:
    #BookBlogger #win