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The Beekeeper's Promise

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  54,828 ratings  ·  2,954 reviews
Heartbroken and hoping for a new start, Abi Howes takes a summer job in rural France at the Château Bellevue. The old château echoes with voices from the past, and soon Abi finds herself drawn to one remarkable woman’s story, a story that could change the course of her summer—and her life.

In 1938, Eliane Martin tends beehives in the garden of the beautiful Château Bellevue
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published May 16th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
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carolyn On her Website Fiona Valpy does answer this question. She says: The promise that the title refers to is explained on page 65 of the paperback version …moreOn her Website Fiona Valpy does answer this question. She says: The promise that the title refers to is explained on page 65 of the paperback version of the book when Eliane says to her friend Francine “I think we should promise that we will stay true to ourselves. No matter what happens. No matter how bad things get. We should hold on to that truth.”(less)
Catherine Snyder You’re right. The Nightingale is a tough act to follow. I measure all my books by The Nightingale. Haven’t found one that quite gets there. I enjoyed …moreYou’re right. The Nightingale is a tough act to follow. I measure all my books by The Nightingale. Haven’t found one that quite gets there. I enjoyed this book very much though and recommend it. Fiona Valpy is a very eloquent writer. (less)

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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  54,828 ratings  ·  2,954 reviews

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Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful cover and interesting premise but just not enough impact in the plot or the characters to make this a memorable or interesting read for me.

I have read quite a few very amazing historical fiction books on WW II and unfortunately this one just doesn't compare to some of the historical fiction out there on this time in history.

The Novel is set in two time frames which for me didn't work well in this novel as I felt the the modern story took away from the historical one and just seemed c
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
You can find my reviews at https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

“In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me an invincible summer.” (Albert Camus)

This was a gorgeous story of the ability to go forward against adversity when you feel that it has consumed you. It was a story of resiliency in the face of disaster. It was a story of learning about the past, which often can give one courage for the future.

Abi Howe is a broken woman. She is reeling from a marriage gone bad, feelings he
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 character-driven stars to The Beekeeper’s Promise 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝

This book came highly recommended by my friend, Marialyce! Thanks for another wonderful read!

Told in two timelines, The Beekeeper’s Promise includes the story of Abi, who has a broken heart and is looking for a fresh start. She takes a job at the Chateau Bellevue. Abi hopes for healing more than anything.

Also included is the story of Eliane, who in 1938 takes care of the beehives at the same chateau. She falls in love with Mathieu, bu
Rating: 3.0/5.0

I liked this book but I think it is somehow overrated on Goodreads. The book follows the stories of Eliane from World War II and Abi in 2017. They have no connection except that they both show some kind of courage and resistance to the circumstances they live in. The plot was good but I felt it was very predictable and the characters were not fully fleshed out.

Eliane's story had more substance to it than Abi's. Abi's resistance is basically was against her husband Zac who physical
Lisa M
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I felt like this was heading to 2-3 stars until I hit around the halfway point and then I never looked back! I read a lot on my commute to work and almost missed my stop being so engrossed in it one day, it also brought tears to my eyes on a number of occasions. It never truly covered the horrors or war (not sure I could cope emotionally with anything too heavy though) but certainly more than hinted at the hideously torturous times people went through. It remained a beautiful story though and I ...more
♏ Gina Baratono☽
If I could have given this book 10 stars I would have in a heartbeat. It is that good.

This book, although a work of fiction, does contain some historical events that did happen during WWII.

Told from two viewpoints, that of Eliane during WWII, and Abi in 2017 as she recovers from a horrific car accident and an abusive husband. The chapters going back and forth between the book work amazingly well with this story. I've seen this technique used before without this much success, but author Fiona Val
✨ Gramy ✨

I attempted to read the The Beekeeper's Promise Kindle Edition, a stand-alone novel written by Fiona Valpy.


Heartbroken and hoping for a new start, Abi Howes takes a summer job in rural France at the Château Bellevue. The old château echoes with voices from the past, and soon Abi finds herself drawn to one remarkable woman’s story, a story that could change the course of her summer—and her life.

In 1938, Eliane Martin tends beehives in the garden of the beautiful Château Bellevu
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 delightful stars to The Beekeeper's Promise. What a charming story that effortlessly fuses WW2 , bees and domestic violence - such an unlikely combination of themes. Somehow the author manages to make it work and draws parallels between the three subjects by infusing themes of perseverance and resiliency.

The plot alternates between two time periods and two perspectives. Eliane is a young French woman living in rural France in the 1940's when the Germans occupy her town. Abi is an English woma
Kathryn in FL
This is an engaging tale of two unique stories one in the present and one encompassing the time preceding and including World War II during the occupation of a small French town, which intertwine to show the power of trust, unity of spirit, and love.

Eliane Martin is a beekeeper and the cook's assistant on wealthy Count Comte's estate, on which her family resides and her father is the primary farmer. The Count's home is requisitioned as the primary post for the Nazi's in the area. Eliane becomes
For my complete review of "The Beekeeper's Promise" visit:

Told in dual timelines, this book was a joy to read. The historical segments of the novel were my favourite and educated me on the role of the French Resistance during the German occupation of France in World War II. Well written and well researched, the novel was a fine combination of historical fiction and women’s fiction. Although there was a love story element, this was in no way the focus of t
Deacon Tom F
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed "The Beekeepers Promise”

A lovely book that is mostly about the French Resistance in World War II. There is a current day portion, as well, that was very confusing at the beginning but is pulled together nicely in the end.

The characters are developed well and are easy to get attached to. The main character, Eliane, is a steel rod of determination in the midst of the France’s darkest times

It’s a story of strength in ordinary, life and is full of everyday courage.

For me, Elia
Elisabeth Plimpton
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Wow! An incredible historical fiction read. This book has so much depth, leaving you feeling sad and proud at the same time. Elaine sets the example of finding the strength and courage to fight for what’s right during a dark time. She stands by her family, friends, and community in a devastating time in history. Her courage, resilience, and quiet confidence helps Abi and anyone struggling to stay true to who you are and stay strong in the face of fear.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, Abuse, Danger, Suspense, History, German occupation, fear, and healing.... Those are the words that I would use to just lightly describe The Beekeeper's Promise by author Fiona Valpy.

At first, I thought this book would be hard to follow because it switched frequently between the past and present with different characters and different stories. It was not hard to keep up and the book usually moved fast. There were some slow parts that were used to show that Abi, our modern character was ta
Christine Bibro
Interesting story about the French Resistance. Book would have been better if the story line stayed with those characters in that time frame. Abi's life, in 2017-18, didn't appeal to me. It was annoying to jump from Eliane's life to Abi's which didn't need to be a part of this writing. ...more
Kirsty Harrison
This is the second book in a row where I find myself at odds with the majority opinion on GoodReads.

I found The Beekeeper's Promise to be a mildly entertaining read, but the framing and the trite ending didn't work at all.

In 1938-1945 we spend time with the Martin family in a small town in occupied France, their story is retold piecemeal to Abi in 2013, a woman coming to terms with recent trauma.

It's retold to Abi by a third person, Sara, but not really... Each trip back to wartime comes with "
I thought I had read everything there is to read about WWII. But then I realized that there is at least one more aspect that I had not read about: living on the line of demarcation between occupied and free France. That is the location of this story and contains two alternating narratives 70 years apart.

There are two main characters in this book:
1938-Eliane Martin is in Coulliac France working as a beekeeper at a hotel in the area. She lives at a mill.
2017-Abi Howes reluctantly leaves her Londo
First, you should know I love historical fictions, and I also like reading those taking place during WWII, therefore it is no surprise I liked reading this one very much.

Eliane's storyline during the war is captivating and sad and yet, so full of courage and determination, and also sparked by gentle scenes of nature and calm. I particularly loved those atmospheric descriptions of the countryside, the sun and nature bringing out the best of it, and following the cycle of nature (and the bees) thr
So many favorites here: evocative story telling, brave 1940’s heroine, excellent narration, themes of courage & integrity in the face of evil, nobleness & kindness in spite of hatred & cruelty, romance & family love in the midst of the challenges & chaos of life. So glad I found Fiona Valpy’s novel!

Favorite quote: “The darkness of this world can’t dim the light that shines from you.”

This is a dual timeline story. For me, the story of the heroine from the past resonated more than that of the mod
♥ Ashleigh ♥  Contrary to popular belief I'm not actually mad!
So I thought about it and I'm still not really sure what to say about this book.
It was really good, I recommend just picking it up and reading it.

If it helps I will state it helped me get out of a year long book slump....... pretty high praise.
Lydia Bailey
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve had zero reading time recently so the fact that I’ve taken over a fortnight to read this is no reflection on it at all. Having said that, it is a slow burner. I found my attention wavering a little until I got about half way through and then I really needed to keep turning the pages. Having read The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah and The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine I was already very familiar with the basis for the storyline but it was interesting to see how Fiona Valpy interwove t ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful historical fiction

This was a great story of a current day woman and a woman who lived through Germany's invasion of France and the resonance of both women. I had a rough time putting this book down. It makes me want to be a stronger person.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Beekeeper’s Promise is a WW2 novel by Fiona Valpy. Although the story is fiction, some of the places are real and the stories of the Resistance are real as is the massacre in Tulle. The story could easily have taken place and maybe it did in some country and small town. Fiona Valpy tells the story of Elaine and her family during the War and the story of Abi in the present time trying to recover from a car accident and an abusive marriage. The story is told in alternating chapters by Elaine f ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by this author and I have to say it's one of the best books I have read this year so far. Set in France it follows 2 storylines, one from the modern day and one during the out break of WW2 - all based in the same location. I don't want to give the plot away as you should all read it for yourselves but the characters are so well drawn and the situations the main characters find themselves are brought to life so vividly. Although a very dark period in history this wasn't a gl ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Elaine’s and Abi’s stories should each be their own book. Jumping between the two leaves Elaine’s story feeling too short and underdeveloped. There are some amazing parts but it feels rushed and I didn’t feel invested in the characters.
With WWII in the back of your mind when you jump back to Abi’s modern story her problems seem completely trivial, shallow and dramatic for the sake of a backstory (despite being serious issues).
There are 2 amazing stories in there but their relevance to each oth
Suze Lavender
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Abi hopes being in France will heal her. She's there for a short stay, but when she gets the offer to work at Château Bellevue, she immediately accepts. She loves the beautiful place filled with history and has enough free time on her hands to spend a few months there. Abi has been through a lot and it's time for her to get back on her feet. Will being at the château make a difference? While she's staying there, Abi learns about what happened at the castle during WWII. She's fascinated by the st ...more
Leanne Whistance-Smith
Set in France, The Beekeeper’s Promise follows the lives of two women, Elaine during WWII and Abi in 2017.

Whenever there is a dual timeline like this, I’m never able to connect as well to the present day storyline & character as I am to the past, and am always in a rush to get through that chapter to get back to the interesting stuff.

Having read so many incredible, heart-wrenching and breathtakingly beautiful historical fictions, I guess I have pretty high standards now, and this one definitel
A lovely story which the author was compelled to write after readers asked her about the past history of the fictional castle! I love it when this happens and when the author explores something that has already captured the readers imagination.

The two timelines here are nicely done and once again the setting,the way Fiona writes and evokes the setting via all the senses is lovely to read. Eliane of the past story influences Abi and her story in the present. A lovely touch with the castle as a ma
Andrea Lyth
I really enjoyed this book but didnt feel like it had a huge impact on me.
It seemed to drift along and I was waiting for a crescendo which never really appeared. Saying that, I would recommend it. It’s a lovely story, it’s just not as captivating as other historical fiction books I’ve read x
Kerry Nicholls
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable book. The way this book was written enabled me to be there with the characters, imagining every detail (occasionally I wished I couldn't!). I did not get confused jumping from time periods, it just flowed beautifully and I even learnt a few things about bees. ...more
Alice 🌙
4/5 ⭐️
I’m a sucker for anything WW1 or WW2, so this book was up my alley. I really enjoyed The alternating time lines between the two women and seeing opposition ends of history.
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The Beekeeper's Promise by Fiona Valpy 1 22 Oct 31, 2019 10:52AM  

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Fiona Valpy spent seven years living in France, having moved there from the UK in 2007. She and her family renovated an old, rambling farmhouse in the Bordeaux winelands, during which time she developed new-found skills in cement-mixing, interior decorating and wine-tasting.

All of these inspirations, along with a love for the place, the people and their history, have found their way into the book

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