Bee Summers - Melanie Dugan
The spring Melissa (Lissy) Singer is eleven years old her mother walks out of the house and never returns. That summer Lissy's father, a migratory beekeeper, takes her along with him on his travels. The trip and the people she meets change her life. Over the years that follow, Melissa tries to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance and struggles to come to terms with her loss.
I will tell you upfront that the reason I chose to review this book is that when my mom was younger, her mother just up and left the family. Now, my mom and the kids all turned out fine, but it's always fascinated me how a mother could just seemingly leave their families behind and just not think twice about it. I think that no matter how well adjusted a child is, that does something to them and you can't always fix that.
In this book, Melissa is only eleven when her mom just disappears and never comes back. She holds hope for the entire summer that her mom is at a rally, or maybe she has cancer and is just going to come back when she feels better. She embarks on a trip with her dad on his annual bee runs and she meets a variety of characters along the way. She sees another side of her dad and she can't help but think they know where her mom is and she worries she's doing the wrong thing by befriending some of them. In the fall, when she returns to school, it seems like the entire town knows about her mother and the whispers and bullying start. She loses her best friend who is too embarrassed to be with her and even still, her dad gives her no information and she's encouraged just to forget about mom and move on.
So she moves on, but she never stops wondering what happened to her mom.
As she gets older, things get easier and she finds a life of her own. When she has her own family and her dad remarries, she feels resentment and angry towards him and they never fully come back together. I can't tell you much beyond that but it's a bittersweet ending. I feel bad for her dad because I think he really thought what he was doing was the best way to handle it. Sometimes people don't think kids can handle the truth, I guess.
I kind of adored this book. I felt terrible for Lissy, but given the circumstances she did pretty well for herself. She got some closure and though not all of her questions were answered, she was able to move on with her own family. It's not a long book, it's kind of sad, but it's also kind of triumphant because Lissy could have ended up badly, she really could have. She could have made a series of bad choices and gone in a hard direction for life but she didn't. She didn't let her parent's choices threaten what she wanted out of life and that's pretty darn admirable.
Also interesting, is that this book can be purchased on Etsy through Upstart Press. What a creative outlet to sell your book for one, it certainly is handmade, and a unique way to get yourself out there. For one of my readers, you'll get your very own copy of Bee Summers!
1. Must be a follower of this blog via BlogLovin (see button below to make it quick and easy)
2. Leave a comment on this post and be sure to include your email address.
Winner will be announced on Monday, May 26! I'll even open this up to International readers since I'll be mailing this out myself.