A Cemetery for Bees

Alina Dumitrescu

This autobiographical novel traces a woman's journey from her youth in Socialist Eastern Europe to her transplanted life in Montreal, Canada. She is a precocious, thoughtful child, whose early life in Romania is marked by the scarcities of the time and the political games needed to survive, but she is not unhappy. Placed around her family’s house are hives—the bees discourage the secret police from visiting too often—and the bees provide both a childish diversion and an overarching metaphor for departure and home.

An elegant, candid book, A Cemetery for Bees is an elegy for childhood, a declaration of francophile love, and a complicated look at who we are, who we were, and where we might find ourselves.

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