Whidbey Reads 2023

Have you heard the buzz? The Whidbey Reads 2023 selection is The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin. Garvin will visit Whidbey in person to talk about her book - and her 120,000 bees. She'll be in the ballroom at Best Western Plus in Oak Harbor on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m., and at Freeland Hall on Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. 

But wait, there's more! In addition to the author visits, we've curated an assortment of events to enrich your experience of the book, and to enjoy whether you read the book or not. 

Whidbey Reads is funded through generous donations from the Whidbey Community Foundation and the Friends of the Clinton, Coupeville, Freeland, Langley, and Oak Harbor libraries, and is supported by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.

Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn’t turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren’t helping her feel better these days.

In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake–a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County–while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake’s sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.

And then there’s Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice’s ad for part-time farm help, he’s shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees–and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.

Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don’t turn out the way you expect (Penguin Random House).

Questions or comments? Contact us!