A Recipe for Bees

A Recipe for Bees

Book - 2000
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"In the late summer, hives full of ripening honey emitted a particular scent, like the whiff of sweetness Augusta used to catch passing by the candy-apple kiosk at the fall fair." Gail Anderson-Dargatz's beautiful new novel is saturated with bee lore, rich domestic detail, wondrous imagery culled from rural kitchens and gardens, and shining insights into family and friendship. And at its heart are the life, death, and resurrection of an extraordinary marriage. A Recipe for Bees introduces a remarkable and engaging heroine whose quest for love and independence spans a lifetime. Augusta Olsen has attitude, a wicked funny bone, a generous and wayward heart, and the gift of second sight. When her mother dies, Augusta is bereft and without direction until she marries her first suitor, Karl, the shy son of a detestable old farmer. As a young woman with an eye for beauty who longs for affection, she finds life on their remote, rustic farm almost unbearable. When the local reverend offers the occasional afternoon relief from her cloistered existence, she accepts; when another man from the town shows interest, she feels herself drawn toward him. Eventually, she and Karl and their young daughter, Joy, move onto a farm of their own, and Augusta looks for new ways to assert her independence. It is not until she resurrects her mother's beekeeping equipment that sweet possibilities become evident. And as the strands of her life unexpectedly twist together, the indulgences of youth and the many delights and exasperations of old age are enchantingly revealed.
Publisher: New York : Harmony Books, 2000.
ISBN: 9780609604519
Branch Call Number: ANDE
Characteristics: 305p. 22cm.


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Jan 26, 2017

I found this book quite slow. It is about the life of a woman named Augusta, who is having flashbacks while waiting to learn the fate of her son-in-law; who is having brain surgery. She recounts her life, most of which could be considered miserable. I found the character of Augusta quite annoying/grating. And the book never really picked up the pace. It did enjoy the setting however; of lower mainland BC. I also enjoyed the parts which detailed the bees.

Oct 01, 2011

This book started off slowly, but by the third chapter was a much more interesting read. The story is told through Augusta, whose mostly turbulant marriage takes her from her youth to her old age.

Sep 08, 2011

As usual for this author - superb.On again, family friendship and amrraige. Charming, detailed and funny.


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Jan 26, 2017

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 21, 2015

MurielW thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jan 26, 2017

Augusta arrives home after being kicked out by her daughter for being too overbearing while her husband has been ill. Augusta's son-in-law Gabe is having brain surgery. Augusta is waiting at home with her husband Karl and her friend Rose, for the phone call regarding his survival. While they wait all afternoon for news Augusta has various flashbacks recounting her life. She deals with parental issues, her fathers lack of emotion/love, and her mother's affair with an indigenous man and the subsequent fall out. Her adolescent years and meeting Karl. Her marriage to Karl and her misery with her father-in-law. Augusta's own affair with an older man, and subsequent pregnancy. The birth of her child and death of her father. Joy's childhood and growth, and the lack of mother daughter bond. And finally renewed love for Karl resulting from the bee keeping and their elderly years. Towards the end of the book we find out that Gabe lives, and Joy has rekindled their mother daughter relationship.


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Jan 26, 2017

Other: Issues dealing with suicide, prejudice, and adultery.


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