A haunting novel of art, love and war set in Mallorca and Provence.
In this story of an astonishing love, Thomas Sachez portrays the violence, hope, and grandeur of lives transformed by war and exile. At the heart of the novel are Zermano, a world-famous Spanish painter, and his beautiful French muse, Louise Collard - whose lives are torn apart by the German invasion of France in World War II. Leaving Louise in Vichy-controlled Provence, Zermano returns to occupied Paris. But while he eventually goes on to celebrity and fortune, Louise disappears into obscurity.
Fifty years later, after Louise's death, an American scholar arrives in the south of France seeking the truth about the lovers' tempestuous romance and sudden separation. Why did the painter abandon the young beauty? What was the cause of her lifelong reclusiveness? What dark mysteries were being concealed by the ill-fated couple?
By chance, the professor finds a cache of correspondence - Zermano's letters to Louise in her remote mountain village, and her intentionally unmailed letters to him in Paris. In their vivid, wrenching contents he uncovers secrets that Louise kept even from Zermano about her wartime experience and, ultimately, the secret of the fateful decision that Louise was forced to make. What is more, in following the story, the professor too must eventually confront the enigma of his own desire.
'Day Of The Bees' is a tour de force as powerful as the country, the art and the passion it describes.