Day of the Bees: A Novel
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Day of the Bees celebrates passion and creativity as it explores the links between love and violence, art and war, and reveals the sacrifices made for love?of person and country.
An American art historian is seeking to discover why the famous painter Zermano abandoned his beautiful muse Louise during World War II. Visiting Louise?s cottage in Provence after her death, the scholar finds letters that carry across a panoramic landscape of fifty years and piece together a tempestuous affair with tragic conclusions.
of Reigne My Most Darling Francisco, I sit in front of my morning fire and attempt to write. It is a letter from a talking bird. Feathers and flight and bursts of song. A song that begins to repeat itself, sung over and over. Our song. Words of love always sound so mundane to others, but they strike a perfect note to the ear of the beloved—the beat of their own music, a blood pulse stronger than any symphony. Do you want to know what I dreamt last night? I dreamt of a fire, just like the one
awakened you. Your eyes opening became the sun for me, the light burning all shadows of doubt from my life. You said you never had been awakened like this before, with such laughter. I wanted to hear more. You said the sound of my happiness was the purest you ever heard, a laughter that flowed like honey from the horn of an angel. If only my own laughter could have drowned out the other! A mocking laughter came through the stone columns. We turned to find the source of the sound, but saw no one.
already dead. Then I heard the whimper of a dog as it fell. Its death whine faded into lavender infinity. “If you don’t stop I’ll shoot!” Another shot fired. “That’s the only warning you’ll get!” Now I could see something in the lavender light taking shape. A man walking. The silhouette of his straw hat shadowed against the sun. Beneath the brim of the hat glowed his eyes. I recognized those eyes, odd and oval, polished smooth as stones, white as mirrored eggshells, reflecting the blue of sky
and we are making love in front of him!” I pressed my lips to yours to silence you. Over your shoulder I saw a young man stop before the wall on the opposite side of the river. He quickly scrawled in red paint across the stone: KEEP YOUR CORPSE! GIVE US BACK OUR MILLION PRISONERS! From the bridge above came the sounds of shouting, gunning motorcycle engines, and squealing tires. You pulled me closer, your words insistent. “You’ll never regret marrying me. Trust me.” You kissed me before we
wasn’t our agreement, it was your plan. You seem to think that who you are would put me at risk. Where else should a woman stand in time of risk but next to the one she loves? Could you not see in my eyes the sadness of parting from you? No. You were crazy with protecting me, sending me far from harm’s way. If bombs are to fall why shouldn’t I be a target as well? Why should I be saved? What life is left after separation from the one you love? No matter how I pleaded you could not hear my side.