The Beekeeper’s Pupil

{4.5/5} “It’s hard to put into words the effect he has on the household, being both its master and a blind man. I caught a glimpse of him this morning seated at the harpsichord, just beginning to play, with such pain on his face that I hardly dared to look. For an hour the house rang with beautiful, sad melodies, and if any of us moving through the house caught another’s eye we would look away. But when I saw him afterwards his face was serene, as though all his pain had been poured into the music. And everyone in the house breathed a sigh of relief.”

François Huber has been blind since he was 15. He wants to undertake a scientific study of bees, so he hires young François Burnens to be his assistant. Huber teaches Burnens to be observant and thorough, and together they make discoveries about bees that no one else has made. While Burnens is happy working with Huber, he wonders how the future will unfold.

The Beekeeper’s Pupil by Sara George was published in 2002.

This book is based on a true story — Huber and Burnens really did learn more about bees than anyone else at the time.

It’s a book that shows how science is done — by careful experiments. Huber and Burnens were able to disprove several theories of other people who hadn’t made thorough observations.

It also shows a bit about what life was like in the late 18th century. The characters often react to news about the French Revolution.

I found it fascinating — you don’t have to have any particular interest in bees to enjoy this novel.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 at 12:13 am and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply