I say “Fie” on the present-day novels that have the reader wallow, descend with the author to lives of depravity, unhealthy introspection, obscure meanings, four letter words, explicit sex, and the worst scraping of the barrel: hopelessness. I say “Fie” because I have just been treated, elevated, gratified, and raised to beauty by an old novel loaned to me by Judy, my fellow author and dear friend.
This novel I hold in my hands was written by a woman whose literary sisters and brothers might be L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jean Webster, Harold Bell Wright, and others...please contribute to this list! This novel, The Keeper of the Bees, might be fairly called a sleeper in Gene Stratton-Porter’s long list of accomplishments. Not to be found in the library, not a free iBook, not in my own personal pile stacked high with many of her books, dog-eared from rereading. In this book I have found death to be beautiful, life to be treasured, honesty and care for others to be valued, characters to emulate, wry laughter to spice my day. I’ve found the things I like best about a book: an enthralling mystery, the captivating beauty of nature, a belief in God that wafts in enough places to pin everything together, and to cap it all off, the giant four letter word that today’s novelists are afraid to touch with a ten-foot pole: Hope.
Search on with me, oh readers, who desire the best in life.