#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land's bounty yields a rich harvest…and family secrets that have long been buried.Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school—a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past.But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own.The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.From "one of the best observers of stories of the heart" (Salem Statesman-Journal), The Beekeeper's Ball is an exquisite and richly imagined novel of the secrets that keep us from finding our way, the ties binding us to family and home, and the indelible imprint love can make on the human heart.
Summer reading is a different kind of reading for me. I crave books that are entertaining and dont require too much deep thinking. I read outside a lot in summer and having some serious tome as my reading experience when the sky is so blue and the breeze is soft and flowers smell so sweet, I dont want to go to dark places or be depressed crying in my pink lemonade. My favorite summer book this year has been THE BEEKEEPERS BALL by Susan Wiggs. I really love her writing style and I can tell she has done some real research on whatever topic she is focusing on in her novels. I dont always love her main characters because I find them flat or wishy-washy compared to other characters in the book.WARNING: There are spoilers ahead so skip this paragraph if you dont want to know anything about the story going in. I really LOVED THE BEEKEEPERS BALL despite Isabels cold and rather silly personality. . Maybe it was because in the first chapter when she is trying to work on the bees with no practical experience and when Cormac ONeill, a famous writer, comes on the scene she mistakes him for the beekeeper and he is allergic and nearly stung to death all she can think about is how Oh he is going to die...I dont have much luck with men anyway. pretty much set me against her the entire book. She also kept saying how she shouldnt get involved with the guy because he was leaving when he finished working on the book about her grandfather so she didnt want to get involved with him. So why the heck did she sleep with him???? Then she acts like a Victorian woman waiting for her man to come back from the sea with her He is gone and i will never see him again rubbish. Hey Isabel, its the 21st century now.. havent you heard of Skype or texting or even emails? And those things that go up in the air called airplanes that take you places far away so you can be with your guy...I have used all of these methods to great advantage myself. :It is not common for me to absolutely love a book if I didnt like the main character but there was enough good writing and supporting characters and a dog and two cats that helped me get past rolling my eyes at isabel. Wiggs is a lot like Barbara Delinksky in her descriptive writing of a place. i felt like I was there in NoCal enjoying the lovely summer at Bella Vista and learning about Magnus past as a Resistance fighter in Denmark in WWII. It really gave a depth to the novel I wasnt expecting. I learned something about bees and honey which didnt exactly dispel my fear of them but at least i can appreciate them more. There are a lot of wonderful recipes too, all made with honey, and I especially loved seeing the Hummingbird Cake recipe and will have to try it sometime! This was the perfect book for me to read on a sunny summer morning under a cypress tree or in the garden or deck and my summer experience was enriched by Ms Wiggs story. I cant wait to visit Bella Vista again, and yeh, maybe i can get used to Isabel now that she has suddenly realized that Mac is the one for her.