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The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (2016-02-02)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (2016-02-02).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Gene Stratton-Porter(Author)

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3.3 (5533)
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Review Text

  • By Ellen Etc. on May 8, 2004

    This 1925 novel does not hold up as well in the 21st century as do the author's others, such as "A Girl of the Limberlost" or "Michael O'Halloran," probably because she's delving into grown-up themes. The good side of the culture, the parts for which we feel nostalgia, can be found in those latter titles, but "Keeper of the Bees" shows the dark side of the same culture. An unmarried woman risks the good name of herself and her entire family if she gets pregnant, and because of this, the novel has an overbearing message of the sullying effect of premarital relationships. It sympathizes with women who consider suicide because they (or close relatives) are unmarried and pregnant -- because the child would forever after be considered a "shame baby." To hide this shame, otherwise "noble" characters in this novel concoct elaborate lies to mislead others, all because of the supposedly ruinous effect an out-of-wedlock pregnancy would have on both of the parents, as well as the child and the extended family and friends. The ruin is not just social, by the way, because the relationship puts the souls of mother, father, and child into eternal peril as well.This book also has an unbelievably precocious, androgynous child called "The Scout" as a central figure. Michael O'Halloran was much more endearing than this overwrought character.The parts about beekeeping and nature were my favorites, but overall I was happy to be done with this dated, unpleasant tale.

  • By L. B. Taylor on August 2, 2013

    Mild Spoilers!Keeper of the Bees was at times deliciously entertaining and at other moments really bizarre. First published in 1925, I read a first edition. I had to remember that situations that took place back then came from people with different thoughts and values. I am mentioning this because I don't know if later editions had any changes made to the content.The story started out after WWI when Jamie McFarlane, a soldier and wounded vet, overheard a group of doctors discussing his medical condition. Because he had been at this hospital for a year and his wound had not gotten better they were considering sending him somewhere else. The place that was known for active Tuberculosis cases, a condition in those days that was the beginning of the end.Raised in a Scottish Presbyterian household he lost his faith while overseas. Frantic, he literally takes off on 'The Great Adventure'. At one moment he is bitter because of his circumstances and the next second he is elated when he runs into good fortune. I shook my head more than once wondering what was going to take place next in the life of this young man. His parents died while he was fighting for his country. He had no siblings and nothing to hold on to. He figured that he should try to see as much as he can before he passes on.Eventually, he helps an elderly gentleman take care of his bees and befriends Scout, the Master Beekeeper's ten year-old assistant and a chatterbox to put it mildly. I actually had a few problems believing the dialog came from a child this age and it detracted from this piece of fiction.This is a character study with a very, very mild romance. Faith and Godliness leap from the pages the longer you read about the characters. I enjoyed it at times but was also flabbergasted at some of the nonsense that occurred. This is not light reading and it isn't for everyone. If you manage to finish the story I think you will have a deeper appreciation of everything we take for granted in the 21st century. I am giving it 3 1/2 stars, between OK and liking it, because of some slow reading, farfetchedness and dated material.

  • By L. J. Rinaldi on January 2, 2016

    This could only be considered historical fiction in that now it is set in a place and time after WWI. But when it was written it was all modern slang, and mostly modern ideas that would fit into the 20th century, as opposed to the 21st.The story is very wordy, as old books often are, and the story is sweet, between all those words. There is some modern thinking about how life should be lived, but it mixed up with a mess of talking about g*d, which is fine, if you are into that sort of thing, but it does bog down the book a bit.And the ending, although not telegraphed, is certainly hinted at, and towards the end, I just kept waiting for the second shoe to drop and get on with it.I liked the general attitude towards women, although sometimes it was a little heavy handed in the other direction, and oh, my gosh, I just had the hardest time with the attitude toward unwed mothers that although the author tried to ease it, had her characters having such shame over it. This is something so, so, so alien to me and I'm over half a century old. How attitudes have changed.So, for a general sweet story, this is a good read, but it bogged down in places that made me feel I was just finishing it to be done with it. It almost became a DNF. But it gets its full three stars because of on of the secondary characters and some of the more modern attitudes towards women.

  • By JanetLyn B. on January 14, 2017

    One of my all-time favourite books by one of my all-time favourite authors.I just heartily recommend and do not want to say much about it....for fear of giving away any of the surprises.I'll just say that it is fiction, but based on historic and scientific as well as psychological FACTS.It's set on the Pacific coast of California.One of THE main characters is one of numerous numerous war veterans whose doctors hold little hope for them to recover.The story has some twists and turns ; the characters are complex AND well-developed. Like ALL the characters are in any of the Stratton-Porter books that I've ever read. (Girl of the Limberlost, Freckles, etc.) I'd LOVE to SEE THIS BOOK made into a MOVIE or a Broadway theater production. The veterans in this story were survivors of world war one & were diagnosed as "shell shocked"....what's nowadays called "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". I LOVE THIS BOOK so much highly recommend it. Do not want to say anything else about it & spoil any surprises in the plot line or one bit of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do EVERY TIME I read it.

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