A young school boy visiting his aunt's country house finds company and friendship with the gentle beekeeper and begins teaching the man to read, so that it seems nothing can ever intrude upon their closeness. A young country girl fights against becoming a downtrodden domestic skivvy like her dead mother, while another young girl reaches a delicate understanding with an elderly blind man as they walk along the beach together. On another beach a more sinister plot unfolds as a gang of boys plans the most wicked deed.
"Hill can evoke a setting, convey the essence of a situation and let one see into the inmost hearts of her character in a paragraph or even a single sentence"
"Hill's sentences speak eloquently...the pleasure to be had from [these] stories lies in their carefulness: memories are exactly sustained, small gifts are valued, little words are listened to"
"Hill's stories evoke place, situation and complex emotions with enviable economy... Masterly"
"Simple and mesmeric prose"
"These very strange, beautiful tales demonstrate a relentless capacity to surprise... The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read introduces many individual people who will continue to stare back at the reader long after the book is closed"