Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer

The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer
Paperback, 224 pages
Atticus Books (April 4th 2011)

I won a copy of this book in a giveaway at Erin Reads

Summary from Goodreads:
When Finch, a recently fired marketer of plastic plants, takes a vow of silence to live as a hermit on an eccentric billionaire's estate, he finds that his attempt to contemplate nature and deeper truths is foiled by his noisy inner thoughts and his new employer's booming demands.

My Thoughts:
The Bee-Loud Glade is not the kind of story that I would find myself drawn to, purely from the summary or the words on the back cover.  The book oozes eccentricity and an off-the-beaten-path story line.  Despite these differences from my normal fare, I did enjoy it. 

Himmer is a fantastic storyteller and expertly drew the reader into Finch's head and into his experience.  In Finch's first day as a hermit, he described his tunic to be "prickling like millions of dagger-sharp fibers were sticking and stabbing my cotton- and nylon-spoiled skin, and I burst into bright hives all over."  This one sentence, so effectively written, instantly made me itch.  This type of description - of Finch's physical experience, his emotional state, his thoughts and reaction to the world outside of his glade - were prevalent throughout this novel. 

It was beautifully written.  Of that, there is no doubt.  And I appreciated the book for this beauty and Himmer's ability to weave my mind into Finch's experience.  I struggled though, because I couldn't get out of my own head enough to take the leap of faith that this novel required.  Could it have happened?  Absolutely.  Was it realistic enough for me to believe it and be part of it?  Almost, but not quite.

For fear of giving away the ending, I can't expand too much on how I felt about it.  It wasn't what I expected. It wasn't what I'd hoped for.  Is it selfish of me to hope that Himmer will give us a sequel, so that I can see more of Finch's life unfold.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see a sequel, too. I agree, I didn't expect the story to end up where it did; I assumed more would happen with the hikers. Still, I ended up really loving the book anyway (as you know!). Glad you mostly liked it, too.