The Keeper of the Bees

The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter

No, this isn't the one you've probably heard about. The one that is so popular with "bees" in the title right now is The Secret Life of Bees. The Keeper of the Bees, on the other hand, was written in 1925.

The book follows Jamie Louis Macfarlane -- a wounded serviceman who finds his way on a grand adventure that makes him a better man and brings hope and love back into his life. Strong Christian themes run through the book, which isn't a surprise considering the time in which it was written. And it was an interesting study for me to see all of the ways that political correctness has changed in the last hundred years.

More than that, though, Keeper of the Bees is superbly written. It's so eloquent that even the boring parts were riveting to me. I found myself thinking, "I can't stop now, he's looking around the house!" So when things really pick up, when there's action, I couldn't stop for anything.

I found it shelved in the Juvenile section of my library, and am a bit mystified. Sure, there is no objectionable material in it; but, noawadays books are often shelved by the protagonist's age, and Jamie is a full grown man. He does have a great relationship with the Little Scout, but the story is certainly Jamie's. Anyway, I highly recommend this one.


  1. A place where bees are kept is called an apiary.

  2. Yes, I gathered that during my read. :) I also learned the new vocab word "surcease."

  3. Have you read her children's classic, Girl of the Limberlost? It's a bit in the Anne of Green Gables tradition, although weirder--I like it lots, and it's probably the reason this one is shelved where it is. I've never read this one, though! I was working my way through her books, and hit an utterly awful one, Her Father's Daughter, and gave up...


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