I’ve been stumbling a little bit this past week or two. My schedule has been a little out of whack, with weekends that I try to keep semi-quiet being busy. It’s why there was no catechism post this week and why there will be (hopefully) two next week. Then, my area had a record-breaking snowfall, resulting in my husband getting stuck on his ship for double duty and me getting stuck in the house this week (as my whole life got cancelled every single day, and either my husband had the car or we couldn’t get it out of the driveway). The perfect recipe for productivity, right? Right? Wrong.
Monday and Tuesday were spent in a combination of resting and recharging along with pouting because my husband wasn’t home, our internet went down, and I didn’t want to do things. Wednesday came, and I knew I needed to do better. I was being given all of this extra time to do the things that I am always trying to get done, and I wasn’t using it. So I set to work. Between Wednesday and Thursday, I organized almost our entire home from top to bottom. I got the downstairs back in order from the weekend, got the rest of our master bedroom unpacked, and shelved most of my books (some are still hiding somewhere). There’s still work to be done, but I made tons of progress on finally getting us truly unpacked from our move. On Thursday, to keep my mind occupied, I downloaded The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy and listened to the audiobook while I got things done.
The Beekeeper’s Promise is, to put it simply, beautiful. It is a story of hope, victory over oppression, and growth. Valpy does an incredible job of switching between the two timelines and bringing them together. Heartbroken and feeling purposeless, Abi Howes finds herself in rural France at a yoga retreat. After getting herself lost when she wanders from her group, Abi stumbles upon the Château Bellevue. One thing leads to another, and she quits the retreat to take a summer job at the château.
At the cusp of World War II, Eliane Martin is falling in love. She has found herself falling for sweet Mathieu as she works as a beekeeper at the Château Bellevue. When war breaks out, Mathieu is sent to fight, and Eliane makes the decision to join the Resistance. The long years of agony seem like they will never end. Will the war end? Will Mathieu return to her?
The Beekeeper’s Promise is raw and honest. It is not idyllic, but rather deals with deep, real issues as the characters work their what is happening and has happened to them. But while it is not idyllic, it is beautiful. There is hope written into the story. There is victory over pain. There is healing. This is a book anyone can settle into and appreciate.
The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy gets 4/5 stars.