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Viking Press, 1970

"Emmeline, Emmeline. For God’s sake, Verbena!” is a cry frequently heard in the environs of a boarding house in the small town of Chaucy, Indiana. The time is the early 1950’s, and Emmeline is an eight-year-old girl living without the benefit of a mother, being raised, more or less, by her hag-ridden, Falstaff-beer-drinking “Uncle Lamb.” Lamb, also, more or less, runs the boarding house, which is stocked with some of the most eccentric ladies you are ever likely to meet in southern Indiana – or anywhere else.”

Cry of Bees cover.jpg


“This is a wonderful quirky book published when the author was just sixteen. It is best read it on a hot summer day with no air conditioning. Read it outside while relaxing on a chase lounge. You’ll almost be able so smell the verbena growing up the side of the house. When I first read this book 50 years ago I loved the quirky characters, but they don’t seem made-up at all. When we were in college, my friend’s roommate’s family owned a small hotel that catered to country folk. Walking into the lobby was like walking into this book.”

Victoria Midkiff

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