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The Murmur of Bees

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  5,323 ratings  ·  919 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 471 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published March 1st 2015)
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4.30  · 
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 ·  5,323 ratings  ·  919 reviews

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I am not even sure I can write anything coherent to describe the beauty and magic of this book.

Originally written in Spanish, the version I was reading is an English translation by Simon Bruni and if the translation was this beautiful, emotionally satisfying and evocative, I can only imagine the magic of the original.

Beautiful, mesmerising, magical. Simonopio and his bees are just the kind of guardian angels, protectors and friends people would love to have in their lives.

Thank you NetGalley, t
A heartfelt historical fiction with a touch of magic.
This author blew me away! The writing is beyond amazing!!!
I found myself setting it aside to try and make it last longer; while at the same time itching to read more.
I can't imagine it being more beautiful than it already was, but I do wish I were capable of reading it in Spanish since this was a translated version.
I hope more of her work gets translated into English...or I wake up tomorrow with a perfect understanding of the Spanish written w
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Murmur of Bees is a historical fiction novel by Mexican author Sofia Segovia, her first to be translated into English. The novel is set in Northern Mexico in the early 20th century amidst the Mexican Revolution and the deadly Spanish flu pandemic. The story follows the lifetime of the Morales family of landowners. When an abandoned baby with a hive of bees next to him is found on the Morales land, Francisco and Beatriz Morales adopt the baby and treat him as their own, despite his facial def ...more
This is rhe story of the Morales family in Linares, Mexico, near Monterrey. It is a time of turmoil to come with the Mexican Revolution and the Flu Pandemic of 1918 which leaves the town desolated and destroyed. Magical realism infuses the story with the presence of Nana Reja, who serves the Morales family as a wet nurse for decades (that is the magical part), and the abandoned child Simonopio, adopted by the Morales. Simonopio spends his life covered by bees, and rejected by society for his fac ...more
Fantastic characters. Beautiful, beautiful writing. So evocative... I wish I could have read it in Spanish, but I happened to get a copy in English first. That said, Simon Bruni's translation is amazing.

5 stars.
Melissa Crytzer Fry
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
**3.5 rounded up**

This novel was among a handful offered as a free e-book by Amazon Crossing, as part of World Book Day in March. Otherwise, it likely would not have been on my radar.

Translated from Spanish, The Murmur of Bees was a fun read for me because of my fascination with those honey-makers (and my horror at seeing our desert – FILLED with blooms from a wet spring – nearly absent of bees!). The setting also interested me, given my physical proximity to the Mexico border.

I fell in love wi
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book about the life of a disfigured, abandoned child who grows up in northern Mexico during the early 20th century. I was so mesmerized reading this book it’s the first time I ever read while brushing my teeth! The story telling truly enables you to feel you are a part of the scenery while challenging your mind with clever foreshadowing. I highly recommend this book and wouldn’t be surprised if it wins awards.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to AmazonCrossing and Netgalley for the Advance Review Copy. 

Wow. What an absolute gem of a novel. The cover and synopsis grabbed my attention immediately and I knew once I had finished the first few chapters that I was reading something truly special. 

The novel follows the saga of the Morales family in Northern Mexico and those linked to their story. The book starts with a mystery, an abandoned baby boy with some unusual friends. It follows his relationship with the Morales family and ot
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: April 7th 2019

"Simonopio was for the outdoors, for the wild. He was for reading life, not books."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and AmazonCrossing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

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.

Well, I tried to like this book and I feel that I gave it a fair chance by reading about 50%. But I just couldn't force myself to go any further. There was nothing in the story to grab on to, t
Seema Rao
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magical ~ Beautiful ~ Engrossing

tl; dr: Foundling transforms a family

Segovia's book, and probably thanks in part to the strengths of the translator, is a lovely story of a group of people living at the time of the Mexican revolution. A young boy is found and cared for by a group of strong, but quirky women. Segovia is a masterful writer. Readers who love language will luxuriate in her descriptions. This book would make a great book club selection: plenty of nuances to discuss, complex women, and
Cheeky Cher
3 stars - It was good.

Life waits for no one, and death takes us all.

The plot is fairly predictable and things take a long time to progress. Still held my interest until the end and along the way I learned historical things about Mexico from the early 1900’s (Spanish influenza pandemic, Constitutional law on idle land).
Favorite Quote: It doesn’t matter whether time passes slowly or quickly. What you can be sure of is that, in the end, all you want is to
“The Murmur of Bees” is the second audio novel I’ve listened to while working ardently to move my household. I was attracted to the novel because it’s the first novel by Mexican author Sofia Segovia that has been translated into English. Plus, it involves the Mexican mysticism that the country favors.

The story begins when a baby is found under a bridge covered in bees. To compound his oddness, he has a cleft palate that was thought to be the mark of the devil at that time. A loving family takes
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, I am going to put this one aside. I say sadly because I waited with great anticipation for it's release. I love historical fiction and I particularly love Latin American fiction. I gave the book 240 pages to win me over and it didn't. It had possibilities, but it moved very slowly. The characters were not compelling and as I reached the half way mark the plot was still unclear. Because there were so many good reviews in Spanish I wonder if the problem was translation. I hope to see more w ...more
Linda Zagon
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Murmur of Bees” by Sofia Segovia, Amazon Crossing, April 2019 (Translated by Simon Bruni)

Sofia Segovia has written a captivating, intense, intriguing, and thought-provoking novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, and Historical Fiction as researched and interpreted by the author. There are several layers in this story. There are also elements of Superstition and Tall Tales that are written as well. The story takes places in Mexico, and goes through the t
An abandoned baby boy is found. He is covered with a swarm of bees. The bees are his friends and would never harm him; in fact, it is their job to protect him.

"And they all wondered how old Nana Reja had found him, covered in a living blanket of bees."

"...a newborn baby with a disfigured face, wrapped in the nana’s shawl and a living blanket of bees."

They name him Simonopio. Although he is feared by some because of his disfigurement, he is loved by his godparents, Francisco and Beatriz Morales.
Murmur of Bees

Visit the locations in the novel

Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, this is a brilliant novel in many ways.

There’s lots of lovely magical realism in this book which made me think of the master Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s also quite long at almost 500 pages but then this just made the reading experience linger even more which I enjoyed

The novel is set in Northern Mexico during the days of the Mexican Revolution. The story follows the Morales
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. Everything about it was spectacular, from the writing to the characters. It was truly a delight to follow Simonopio throughout his life and meet his family and get to know them through the ages. Essentially, we're following an entire town's life while simultaneously getting to know the culture of those years.

The story that was being told? Simply astounding. It was heartwarming and sweet, but it also destroyed every single part of my heart. One ev
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't like this book more if I tried. I couldn't find an English version so I read the Spanish version. The story captivated me and I lost track of time. Transported to another time and another land I laughed out loud, cried and feared right along with the beautiful characters. This is a book I'd love to see turned into a movie. I will be tracking down Sofía Segovia's other book to read and anxiously awaiting more.
The Murmur of the Bees may be my favorite book this year.

Murmur of the Bees is written by Sofía Segovia and translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni. I'd read The Light of the Fireflies last year – also translated by Bruni – and thought its language was pretty flat. This was not the case with Murmur of the Bees (does he only work on insect novels?), which was lyrical and magical (actually, magical realism).

This is a book is set in Northeastern Mexico the years preceding and following the Spanish I
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
via my blog:
“Nana. What else do you have there?”

Then the bundle burst into wails and frenetic movements.

“He’s hungry, boy,” said Nana Reja as she carried on with her constant swaying.

“May I see?”

As he unrolled the shawl, Francisco and his men at last saw what Nana had in her arms: a baby.

Their horror made them step back. Some of them crossed themselves.

An abandoned, disfigured baby boy mysteriously protected by a living blanket of bees is rescued by Nana Re
Let me introduce you to Nana Reja :

All those years on the rocking chair caused the townspeople to forget her story and her humanity: she had become part of the scenery, put roots down into the earth she rocked upon. Her flesh had become wood and her skin a hard, dark, furrowed bark.

She originally wandered down from the mountains to Linares, Mexico to save her baby. The Morales family hired her as wet nurse and nanny. She provided this service until she could no longer and then went to her rockin
Rachel Simone
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent the last 30 pages of this book hysterically crying. I was so moved by the ending. It is a slow burn and very character driven.

The style kind of reminded me of John Steinbeck.
WOW.... fuck... this... book. I gave it a chance, which I shouldn't have -- read about half of it, then you can bet your butt I skimmed the rest (and "skimmed" is putting it generously).

I literally only read this because it was the September pick for my Spanish book club -- which I would have skipped, but I've missed the last two, so I basically *have* to go to this one (it's a long story). After this fucking disaster, I don't think I will be going back unless the October pick really grabs my at
Jessica Russell
This book is very, very slow, and that’s perfectly fine. The pace fits the story just right. It gave me time to get to know the characters, and to feel so deeply for them that I cried for the final third of the book. Just lovely.

This fulfills prompt 7 of the Book Riot #readharder challenge: an #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-harder-19
"Still, in January 1919, in Linares, these details were of little interest, because absences were not measured in numbers or statistics: they were measured in grief.

"As a young woman, Beatriz had always reflected on how it would feel to grow old. She observed her mother—old fashioned, elderly, diminished, prudish—and wondered if a person woke up one day saying, This is the moment my old age begins. Starting today, my brain will stop tolerating new ideas, my taste in clothing will stop evolving,
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Listened to it. Loved the story. Loved the characters. Loved the narration. Beautiful book.
The Nerdy Book Fairy ™ ©
Sofia Segovia is a writer from Mexico. She teaches creative writing, has been a ghostwriter, and she has written several plays for local theater. Her novels include Noche de Huracán (Night of the Hurricane), Huracán and El Murmullo de las Abejas (The Murmur of Bees).

The Murmur of Bees is her first book to be translated into English, and was called the literary discovery of the year by Penguin Random House and named Novel of the Year by iTunes. The writing is beautiful and evocative, with an elem
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Captivating. Insightful. Plucking at the strings of the heart you thought had died long ago.

Careful. Read at your own pace. This story is so beautiful and sorrowful, yet at times comical and laughable... That it truly is amazing and love filled. The dose of cure-all the doctor recommended.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is one of duty to family, love of land, and watching out for those we love! Great book that I highly recommend. I'd love the opportunity to ask Ms. Segovia questions!
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Play Book Tag: The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia -4 stars 8 29 May 25, 2019 10:15PM  

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SOFÍA SEGOVIA es es autora de Noche de huracán (2010) y del remake Huracán (2016). El murmullo de las abejas (2015), su novela bestseller publicada en todo el mundo hispano y que próximamente será publicada también en inglés como The Murmur of Bees por @Amazonpub en abril 2019, fue nombrada Descubrimiento Literario del Año por Penguin Random House y Novela del Año por iTunes. Su nueva novela, Pere ...more
“Diles que caminen por la sombra. Que escuchen con los ojos, que vean con la piel y que sientan con los oídos, porque la vida nos habla a todos y sólo debemos saber y querer escucharla, verla, sentirla.” 8 likes
“Siempre flotaban en el aire los perfumes de los dulces de leche y nuez que hacía mi abuela, los de sus conservas y mermeladas, los del tomillo y el epazote que crecían en macetas en el jardín, y más recientemente los de naranjas, azahares y miel.” 4 likes
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