The Enlightenment of Bees

Thank you to Thomas Nelson books for gifting me an advanced reader copy of The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden.

“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.” – Goodreads

Have you ever read a book that felt as if it were just destined for you to read it at that particular time in your life? If you haven’t, well I hope that one day you will because it’s almost… magical. If you have, then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that this book, The Enlightenment of Bees fell into my lap at a point in time that I really needed something uplifting. 

I fell head over heels in love with this story and found Mia West to be a remarkably inspiring character. But, really author Rachel Linden is the one who deserves all of the praise for her masterfully crafted book about how when life goes all the wrong ways that there are ways to make everything right, again. 

I felt as if I were walking along with Mia through the slums of Mumbai. I could feel the astonishment in Mia’s realization that the world is not as she always pictured it. My heart broke for the families in the Hungarian border camp as Mia fought to help them begin their new lives; I found this to be a particularly poignant part of the story because, on some level, this hits a little close to home. 

For me, the sign of a truly beautiful book is when it inspires you to do better, to be better and to see the world in a different light. While I don’t think I’m quite ready to travel around the world with a humanitarian group funded by a reclusive billionaire; I do think that I can think of ways to help my community and to start small. As this book taught me, what you do doesn’t have to be some huge act of good,

“In the right hands, a cookie or a pie or a biscuit can change the world. It’s not about the baked goods, it’s about your heart. Almost anything can change the world if it’s done with love if you use it to comfort, encourage, or strengthen someone.” 

Figure out how to make what you love change the world and then go for it. The Enlightenment of Bees is available now and I encourage you to add it to your summer reading list, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Thank you, again, to Thomas Nelson for the advanced reader copy but thank you, most of all, to Rachel Linden for writing such a beautiful story. 

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