Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Beekeeper's Promise” as Want to Read:
The Beekeeper's Promise
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Beekeeper's Promise

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  35,285 ratings  ·  1,928 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Beekeeper's Promise, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
Michelle The Nightingale is one of my favorites, too. This is still a good book, though not quite on par with The Nightingale. Another of my favorites is Sarah…moreThe Nightingale is one of my favorites, too. This is still a good book, though not quite on par with The Nightingale. Another of my favorites is Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,285 ratings  ·  1,928 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Beekeeper's Promise
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader by: Marialyce
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
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
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
✨ 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
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
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
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
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.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 "
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
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.
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
Lydia Bailey
Jun 11, 2019 rated it 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 lot 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 this ...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
Elisabeth Webb
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! An incredible historical 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.
Kate Smith
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend

I can’t recommend this book enough. I felt myself waking through the French countryside tasting the honey and enjoying the sunshine. I felt myself saddened by the awfulness of the German occupation in France during the war. I felt in awed by the French resistance and the French people. Overall pure brilliance.
Kirsty Loosemore
(Quick vent: I just spent 20 mins writing a review of this book [even the shortest review takes me a long time to write 🤦‍♀️]. Then I switched apps for a moment, came back to goodreads and it had cleared it - Grr!)

Review. Take 2.

Simply beautiful!
Every single page of this book was a pleasure to read. I loved escaping to Château Bellevue with Eliane (late 1930s - mid 1940s) and Abi (present day).
I feel like I know the Château and its grounds, as if I've lived there myself: the Chapel, the walled g
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2019, audio
Love this Author!!

This is my second book by Fiona Valpy, and I really enjoy her style of writing ! I also love the historical details she puts in her books!!
Stephanie Wood
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was engrossed in this story from the first page and my attention never wavered as the challenge of wartime events unfolded.
The author has created extremely likeable characters who interact on a very personal and believable level, drawing the reader in to learn of their daily lives and struggles as though they are close friends. The dual time line helps to remind the reader that these events are in the past, which increases the desire to know how the story ends and creates a spellbinding page
Sue Ross
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where do I start?! The Beekeeper’s Promise is an absolute gem! From the Foreword with the beautiful prose about the Bee, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. This is a book that gives and takes in equal measure. From heartbreak to hope and beyond, this story left me emotional and yet inspired. The beautiful writing took me back to 1938 and onwards, where a young couple in love are torn apart by War. Their lives and paths to the future are changed by the destruction of War and life will ...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
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Initially it was the cover the caught my eye, but what a great read this was. I am not usually fond of stories that switch from past to present, but this was one of those books whereby it worked well. I seldom write what a story is about, as i prefer one to read the book for themselves. I will say that this is a wonderful book to read and do highly recommend it. Wished i could give more than five stars.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review.
Georgina Roberts
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book 😊 this is the second book I have read of Fiona’s, Sea of memories was the first one and I love this as much as that.
Fiona writes beautiful stories and I love historical fiction which means I loved this book.
Also her descriptions of war time France under nazi rule were really well written. I cried at times reading this book which is testament to how much it moved me. Fantastic - 5 stars 🌟
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Beekeeper's Promise by Fiona Valpy 1 15 Oct 31, 2019 10:52AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Love on the Line (Women at Work #1)
  • Her Last First Kiss (Last Chance Ranch Romance #1)
  • One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
  • Truths I Never Told You
  • Where the Lost Wander
  • The Indigo Girl
  • The Art of Inheriting Secrets
  • When We Believed in Mermaids
  • Stay
  • The Last of the Moon Girls
  • The Victory Garden
  • The Secret Letter
  • The Lost Girls of Devon
  • Where the Story Starts
  • Above the Bay of Angels
  • Winter Cottage
  • The House on Mango Street
  • Postcards From a Stranger
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Fresh off the success of her World Fantasy Award–winning novel Witchmark comes a standalone romantic fantasy from author C.L. Polk. In The...
41 likes · 2 comments
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” 6 likes
“Being mindful. Rather than having a mind that’s full,” 5 likes
More quotes…