The Beekeeper's Cottage by Emma Davies
Comforted by the gentle hum of the beehives at the bottom of the garden, Grace drains the last of her tea and walks slowly back towards the little hillside house she adores. Her marriage is over, but is it too late to start her life again? Beekeeper Grace thought throwing out her cheating husband would be the hardest thing she ever did. But when she opens the door to a property developer one morning, it’s clear that keeping her beautiful home and garden – her only sanctuary throughout her miserable marriage – will be the greatest challenge of all… Fleeing to her best friend at the farm next door, Grace blurts out all her problems, only to be overheard by Amos, a handsome, free-spirited visitor with a twinkle in his eye. Fascinated by Grace and her bees, Amos offers to stay in the village of Hope Corner, to help turn her home into a guest house in return for lessons on beekeeping. As Grace shows Amos how to nurture a hive and harvest honeycomb without getting stung, he is charming but secretive. He never stays long in the same place after an incident in his past involving a mysterious woman named Maria. But as their eyes lock over a jar of homemade honey, Grace can’t help feeling that she’d really like him to stay… Determined to dispel her growing suspicion that Amos is running from something serious, Grace goes in search of the truth about Maria. But when she finds it, will she still want Amos to put down roots in Hope Corner, and will they still have a house to return to? No matter how far they travel, bees will always find their way home…
This is one of the most delightful books I've read in a long time. Not only was the setting glorious (Grace's cottage sounds divine and that garden is to die for), but I learnt a little about bees, too.
The story is a mixture of gentle middle England and the cut-throat world of TV. The contrast between the two men in Grace's life is well executed, and the moral to the story is that the good guys do sometimes win.
I wasn't expecting the ending (I was expecting the complete opposite) but it fitted the story perfectly. And I particularly loved the hint of 'otherness' about Amos and his intuition.
All in all, a lovely wonderful read!
About the Author
After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true. After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea. Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her).