Blog Tour: Bee Summers by Melanie Dugan (Belinda’s review)

Bee SummersBee Summers
written by Melanie Dugan
published by UpStart Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads, Etsy

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes, no, kind of. I’m not sure.

I’m deeply conflicted about writing a review on this book. First, I’ll say it was a well-written, thoughtful story. The characters were lovable and sympathetic. The scene and story idea were wonderfully original.

There were so many good components in this novel. Unfortunately for me, it missed one crucial element – passion. It was like the time I made a tuna casserole and forgot to add the tuna.

***Spoiler Alert*** 

Early in the story, a young girl’s mother goes missing. We learn later that the father knew his wife left him and filed for divorce. They both thought it best to simply tell the girl nothing. Initially, everyone acted like Mom was coming back. Melissa, our young protagonist, has to figure it out on her own.

This plot is carried out too casually. There were a few scenes where Melissa fights back tears and wonders about her mom, but that was about it.

One exception came toward the end of the story when Melissa, as an adult, discovered the letters her mother mailed to her father years before. I won’t discuss precisely what happens, but it did break my heart and made me angry. Sadly, it was too little, too late.


Would I recommend it: Some readers may enjoy a really low-key story — maybe something to read before bed. It’d be okay for that. Otherwise I’d suggest checking it out of the library and reading the last two chapters.


About the book – from Goodreads: The spring Melissa (Lissy) Singer is eleven years old her mother walks out of the house and never returns. That summer Lissy’s father, a migratory beekeeper, takes her along with him on his travels. The trip and the people she meets change her life. Over the years that follow, Melissa tries to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance and struggles to come to terms with her loss.

Melanie DuganAbout the author: Melanie Dugan is the author of Dead Beautiful (“the writing is gorgeous,” A Soul Unsung), Revising Romance, and Sometime Daughter.

Born in San Francisco, Dugan has lived in Boston, Toronto, and London, England, and has worked in almost every part of the book world: in libraries and bookstores, as a book reviewer; she was Associate Publisher at Quarry Press, where she also served as managing editor of Poetry Canada Review and Quarry Magazine. She has worked in journalism, as a freelancer, and as visual arts columnist. Dugan studied at the University of Toronto Writers Workshop and the Banff Centre for the Arts, and has a post-graduate degree in Creative Writing from Humber College. She has done numerous public readings.

Her short stories have been shortlisted for several awards. She lives in Kingston, Ontario with her partner and their two sons.

Find Ms. Dugan here: web, Goodreads, Facebook

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  1. Hallo, Hallo! 🙂

    And, how have you been since we last chatted!? I’ve been dealing with monsoon rains, hail storms, and fierce lightning weather patterns, so my online time has been a bit full of angst the past fortnight! I only finished reading “Bee Summers” tonight around 11pm ahead of posting my full review of the story — but we sort of had different takeaways from reading it. I always respect that not every book will be loved by every reader, but for some reason, I was simply caught up in the conviction of the character’s life and story. Lissy had a strong impact on my heart, and even though I was a bit aghast her relationship melted away from her father, I saw it happening before I realised it would — when he remarried? The bits that choked me up the most were in Chapter 12 and outward from there, when she went through her full circle of realising what everything meant and what she stood to lose herself if she did not repair the hurt of her past from her heart.

    I simply loved the rambling bits of he childhood but like I said, each of us enters into a story from a different pair of eyes and we are each going to view it differently. I have read books I had to put down and others find them engrossing. And, likewise, this is a case in reverse! Laughs. Your honesty will help readers decide as much as I always speak the truth on my blog as well. We all write our observations and impressions as we read, and that is the best way we can give our honest opinions. Even if they differ from each other.

    Jorie’s Review of Bee Summers

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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