Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Book Review: The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden


Title: The Enlightenment of Bees

Author: Rachel Linden

Genre: Women's Fiction/Chick Lit

About the book: At 26, idealistic baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, baking at The Butter Emporium, and the love of her life, her boyfriend Ethan, by her side.  But when Ethan breaks up with her instead of proposing on their sixth dating anniversary (with the Tiffany blue box in his pocket), Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.

Adrift and devastated, she determines to find new meaning in her life by helping those in need. Guided by recurring dreams about honeybees that seem to be leading her toward this new path in life, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on an around-the-world humanitarian trip funded by the reclusive billionaire, Lars Lindstrom. Along with a famous grunge rock star, an Ethiopian immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the trip of a lifetime. From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s eyes are opened and her idealistic vision is challenged as she experiences the euphoria, disillusionment, and heartbreaking reality of humanitarian work abroad.

As Mia grapples with how to make a difference in an overwhelmingly difficult world, circumstances force her to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the unexpected life she has built.

My Thoughts: I did like this book, but it was not one that I could get lost in.  It felt like I was forcing myself to read it, and seemed to take longer than it should.  I liked Mia, and I don't think she gave herself enough credit in the beginning.  She did learn to stand on her own after Ethan breaks up with her, and I get it - after six years together you expect engagement and marriage to follow - so when that doesn't happen she is left not knowing which way to turn.  I didn't expect to learn so much about what the refugees went through in the Hungarian border camp, and while I realize it just touched on their issues, it was probably a realistic look at what a first-time volunteer would see and feel. It was nice to have the focus on something other than a relationship in a "chick-lit" book - though there were relationships as well.  It just didn't feel like they were the focus.  

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