Tell it to the Bees, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A secret love which has a whole town talking...and a small boy very worried. Lydia Weekes is distraught at the break-up of her marriage.

When her young son, Charlie, makes friends with the local doctor, Jean Markham, her life is turned upside down. Charlie tells his secrets to no one but the bees, but even he can't keep his mother's friendship to himself.

The locals don't like things done differently. As Lydia and the doctor become closer, the rumours start to fly and threaten to shatter Charlie's world.




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An unusual tale of love and loss told through three different voices: a ten year old child, his mother and their doctor, Jean Markham, set in a little British village in the fifties.Lydia, a beautiful young woman, is abandoned by her drunken husband being forced to struggle to raise her only child, Charlie. When she is in the verge of collapse, Jean, Charlie's doctor, enters their life like a miracle. She provides Charlie with a getaway in her huge garden and she lets him tend to the bees, a chore Charlie takes with a lot of enthusiasm. And she gives Lydia a reason to live again.When the two women meet, they start an intense and unusual friendship, and unaware of its consequences, they cling to each other as drowning souls, not understanding what's really going on.A story which tells a lot with no big fuss, about the real meaning of love and the courage it takes to face it, and about the intolerance of a closed up society in which different people are outcast and tortured for their "perverted ways".The prose was really smart, even poetic sometimes, and although a bit unconnected, the story flowed easily and the characters came to life in every page. A touching story with a disinhibited message which will go straight to the heart of those with an open mind.

Review by

This is small town England shortly after the war. Lydia Weekes is helpless to prevent her marriage to loutish, philandering Robert from dissolving, but when Robert finally moves out--leaving her as sole support for their ten-year-old son Charlie--it comes as more of a relief than a betrayal: almost a promise fulfilled. Enter Jean Markham, a doctor, a spinster whose hobby is keeping bees, with whom Charlie has struck up an unlikely friendship. Jean helps Lydia out of her financial bind and as their budding friendship gains shape and dimension, the two women are perlexed by and fearful of the attraction they feel for one another. In her third novel Fiona's Shaw's writing flows seamlessly and comes across as effortless, and yet she spins a taut, depthless narrative, keeping her reader guessing while relentlessly probing her characters' fears and longings. Highly recommended.

Also by Fiona Shaw   |  View all