The Telling of the Bees

The Telling of the Bees

16 chapters / 26365 words

Approximately about 2 hours to read


When Susanna catches word that her husband has plans to poison her and his other wives on their farm, she does what any sister wife escaping a cult would do-- she sets it aflame and escapes with her daughter in the middle of the night. She makes a living doing the only thing she knows how to do well-- keep bees.

**TW: Contains scenes of graphic physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Read at your own risk. Some material may not be suitable for all readers.**



8 months ago Lauren Fricke said:

Oh my.

I just read the entire piece... I didn't intend to do that. Your writing pulled me in, the absurdness of Susanna's situation both bizarre and fascinating.

Well done.

Toward the start of the piece, you overuse the word "I". Try replacing it or reworking sentences to not need it. That said, I became so engrossed in the story that I didn't really care.

Very well done, Marissa. Very well done.


12 months ago Eris Napier said:

Your writing is quite beautiful. I had to read to straight through, and was shocked and appalled. It made me feel powerful emotions, and it was a phenomenal ride throughout the story. I love the way you explored the relationships between the six wives, and how someone could get caught up in something so occult. Thank you for the experience!


over 1 year ago jacqueline said:

Oh God, this entire thing was written so beautifully. I just sat and kept reading all the way through, didn't even stop because I couldn't. The way you told the story kept my attention and I was scared and sad and hurt and happy. Your characters were lifelike and I found myself caring for them, even so soon after reading about them. And I wanted to come to the farm myself and expose Jonathan, make him stop doing such horrible things to people he claimed to love. I hurt when he raped Susanna and I hurt when he hit Ellie. I'm just chilled by all of this.

What else can I say besides that this is a beautiful work of fiction? Somewhere I can't help but wonder if there's a place where right now, a woman is out there fearing for the safety of her own daughter because of people like him. There must be, because the world can be bad, and I ache for her just like I ached for Susanna. Amazing story.


over 1 year ago Addie said:

I loved the imagery and your writing style in general. There were so many phrases I loved that I wanted to pick out, but there were too many to choose from:)



7 months ago TrippGalaxy said:

Okay so I read the first two chapters & I’ll be back to read more but I figured I’d drop a review of my first thoughts. Just keep in mind these are suggestions so take them with a grain of salt!

“It is said that bees are reincarnations of the purest souls”- I love that.

I’m curious as to why the children sleep in the barn. Is it because there’s so many of them? Do they sleep on the straw on the ground or do they have little cots? Maybe a little bit more description of how it looks would help get a better picture.

It’d almost be nice to have a little more dialogue when they first meet at the coffee shop. Maybe some more interaction back at the first encounter would give us a little more detail or background information and maybe we can understand why she found him so attractive in the first place.

My one big critique I have is how quickly you describe and explain her falling in love with him and then suddenly she’s pregnant over two months. The fact that she was willing to marry him against her own inner conflict; he must have really meant something to her and made an impression. It’d be nice to have a few more scenes or flashbacks of them together over those two months. It would make her agreeing to the marriage more believable.

“There were five other women starring back at me…” It should be “staring”.

So far it’s off to a strong start and I’m really intrigued with it. You don’t read a lot of story lines on here about polygamy so it’s interesting to see a different perspective.



8 months ago Magnolia J. Carpenter said:

Note: I would suggest putting a trigger warning on this piece. It could be very upsetting for someone who doesn't know what they're getting into. There are a lot of younger teenagers on this website, after all. You have an incredible way with words. I felt so much for Susanna and the other wives, and a pit of dread lodged itself in my stomach and stayed there from the moment I started reading. Susanna's despair and love for Ellie just seeps from the words, and every character is well rounded and given enough attention. This is an absolutely wonderful story, with captivating descriptions that make the reader feel as if they're living Susanna's life. Good work!