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'SANTA MONTEFIORE is a superb storyteller of love and death in romantic places in fascinating times - her passionate novels are already bestsellers across Europe and I can see why. Her plots are sensual, sensitive and complex, her characters are unforgettable life forces, her love stories are desperate yet uplifting - and one laughs as much as one cries.'

Plum Sykes, Author, Bergdorf Blondes

'This is quite simply a beautiful read and will make you believe again in love that conquers all'

News of The World

'Now is the perfect time to read this gripping romance...It is as believable as the writing is beautiful'

Daily Telegraph

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Daily Mail

'A gripping romance….it is as believable as the writing is beautiful'

Daily Telegraph

'Anyone who likes Joanne Harris or Mary Wesley will love Montefiore'

Mail on Sunday

'One of our personal favourites and bestselling authors, sweeping stories of love and families spanning continents and decades'

The Times

'The novel displays all Montefiore’s hallmarks; glamorous scene-setting, memorable characters, and as always deliciously large helpings of yearning love and surging passion'

Wendy Holden, Sunday Express

'Engaging and charming'

Penny Vincenzi

'Santa Montefiore really knows these people inside and out. I couldn’t put this book down'

Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey

The Beekeeper's Daughter / De dochter van de imker

UK Edition of
'The Beekeeper's Daughter'
Dutch edition of
'The Beekeeper's Daughter'
Out now in hardback
USA edition of
'The Beekeeper's Daughter'

Synopsis

Sometimes one finds one’s destiny on the road one takes to avoid it.

It is 1973 and Trixie Valentine is in love with the lead singer of a British rock band who has come to spend the summer on Tekanasset, a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she has grown up. Disenchanted by her sheltered life isolated from the great cities of the world, she plans to run off with Jasper in the fall, when he leaves to tour America. After all, she doesn’t want to end up like her mother, Grace, who has gardened for the island’s wealthy residents since she left England with her husband, Freddie, at the end of the war. Nor does she understand her mother’s obsession with bees or where she goes to when she spends so long gazing at them flying in and out of the hives.

It is 1937, England is bracing itself for the possibility of war and young Grace Hamblin is getting married. Yet, as she is poised to pledge the rest of her life to Freddie Valentine, she is torn between her childhood sweetheart and the dashing aristocrat she knows she can never have, in spite of the ferocity of her love. The price she pays for doing the right thing is great and she carries her pain to the other side of the world, where Freddie, returned from war a different man, carries his own pain and a mighty secret.

From 1940s England to America in the 1970s, The Bee Keeper’s Daughter is a moving and mysterious tale of two women’s enduring love.

Inspiration for The Beekeeper’s Daughter

A couple of summers ago, I was enjoying the beautiful weather down in Hampshire where I have an adorable little cottage on my parents’ farm when I noticed a massive cluster of bees attached to the brickwork near my daughter’s bedroom window. At first I wasn’t sure what it was. It looked like a seething rugby ball, but on closer inspection I saw that it was made of bees, thousands of them. The following morning the air was black as they all flew madly about, not sure where to go. I called my father who came up to have a look. He suggested we call the beekeeper who lives nearby and keeps hives on his farmland. As it happened, the beekeeper’s daughter came and informed us that the bees were looking for a new hive and that if they didn’t find one they’d literally buzz off! If they formed a ball again she’d come back at the end of the day when they were drowsy and scrape them off into a basket and try to introduce them to one of her unused hives. We talked for a while and I learned so much about those little creatures who make us honey, frighten children with their stings and inspire poems and stories all over the world. The Beekeeper’s Cottage sprung to mind and I pictured a cottage like mine and a lovely old beekeeper – this later evolved into the Beekeeper’s Daughter as the story developed and it was Grace and her daughter Trixie who dominated. I set it on an imaginary island off Massachusetts, USA, and in Dorset, England. I always invent my places so I can make them my own – although I did derive inspiration from the charming and beautiful island of Nantucket where I have been on holiday. I plan very little when I start a book. Just the locations, the era and the main characters and then I switch on my ipod, listen to inspiring music and let my imagination take me somewhere exciting. So far, it has never let me down!