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Pan Macmillan

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Summer of the Bees: a Heartbreaking True Story

summer-of-the-bees.jpgNew from Pan Macmillan

In November 2005 two young parents took their ten month old baby to a paediatrician. He had been crying incessantly, his mood had changed and his eye had become slightly squint. The paediatrician’s diagnosis wasn’t good.

Andy Sutherland’s Summer of the Bees is the heart-breaking true story of a young child undergoing treatment for a rare brain tumour. The story is told by Michael’s father – Sutherland himself – with alternating passages written in Michael’s voice. It is an honest and extremely personal account of the confusion, fear and sadness felt by both parents and child.

Amidst the despair, Andy describes the many moments of happiness, with self-deprecating humor and charm. Despite Michael’s illness the family experiences many of the joys and adventures of new parenthood.

Andy Sutherland writes from the heart, without pretence or ego, and lets readers into the most private spaces of his family, his relationship and his own thoughts. He addresses universal issues of family, faith and friendship, and forces readers to consider the balance between love and suffering, and the importance of letting go.

Summer of the Bees will make you laugh and cry in the same breath, and will leave you profoundly moved.

About the author

Two years after Michael’s death Andy Sutherland decided to write this story, based primarily on his own diary and the frequent emails he had been sending to friends and family during Michael’s illness. He now lives and works in Johannesburg with his wife Kerry and his two daughters, Annemarie and Kim. Andy is the first to admit that the publication of the book was delayed because he was completely distracted by the Rugby World Cup (which South Africa went on to win!).

Book Details


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