Five-star review of The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, translated by Simon Bruni
A slow, beautifully written story about two boys growing up in northern Mexico between 1910 and 1920, during civil war, a world war, changes in major crops and the Spanish flu. From the moment Simonopio is found as an infant with a deformed mouth and bees lighting all over him, to his incorporation in the Morales-Cortes family, to the birth of Fernando Jr. several years later and Simonopio’s efforts to teach him all he knew, to the tragedy on Fernando Jr.’s birthday, we see how Simonopio and his bees helped his adoptive family. The lyricism of the translation must reflect on the original Spanish magical realism. The story is told from multiple viewpoints but ultimately from that of Fernando Jr.