Manuscript available to Agents by Request
Tell the Bees is a story about starting out, starting over, and finishing up, a story of love and loss which connects the generations, living and dead. The story unfolds on a small farm in Wisconsin, in 1967, and is seen from the perspective of Jacob Woods, a young man eager to get away from the gut-ugly fights between his parents and help his ailing grandfather with the farm. His grandparents keep bees and carry over an old German practice of “telling the bees” about their joys and griefs, in the belief that bees, if told, will soothe their keepers by soft humming, keeping watch, and bridging earth and heaven.
Jacob moves to the farm and soon discovers that his Aunt, who died thirty years earlier, has a name which is never spoken and an attic bedroom door which is never opened – and that the bees have not been told of her death.
Jacob must find a way to finish his last year of high school, get a job, make a girl his own, face the town bully and a menacing motorcycle gang, help a neighbor boy with learning problems, deal with big changes in his parent’s relationship and his grandfather’s failing health, thwart an out-of-town businessman who wants to subdivide the farm, and through it all, find out what happened to his Aunt, and why no one will enter her bedroom, speak her name, or tell the bees.