Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey.
At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.
Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.
In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest need.
“The memories are always with us, but sometimes we can ease the way for others. That is what we must do, use our pain to build understanding and empathy, not to build walls. Then it is transformed into a thing of beauty, then our suffering has value.”
I’m a book monster; at the top I dog ear pages to keep my place and at the bottom I dog ear for quotes I want to revisit. This book has a lot of bottom corner dog ears.
Rachel Linden has a way with words that will sooth your sole. It’s a combination of lyrical with hard truth forcing the reader to confront their inner-self without pulling the reader into the depths of despair.
This is the first of Rachel’s books I’ve read so I had no clue what to expect. I’ve been reading a lot of fluff lately and at first her style of writing caught me off guard (because, again, fluff ya’ll). But, I quickly realized I had missed falling into a book world where I feel wrapped up in a cocoon; one where I knew I was going to be challenged and face feelings I’ve been ignoring, but knew I would come out better for it on the other side.
I appreciated how Rachel brought her experiences in to give the story depth and meaning. International aid is one of those things that I know exists and I see on news stories, but not a topic I really KNOW about; it hasn’t touched me personally. Through this story I was able to touch that world and develop a deeper level of empathy towards those who struggle with the basic comforts of life.
I liked all of the characters. I felt for Ethan, who struggled with knowing what was familiar and what was the right call for his and Mia’s future. I can’t imagine the agony of wrestling with the decisions he made, and then Mia being strong enough to process through and move to where she needed to be. I loved Nana Alice and her beau who brought smiles and wise words. Rosie is an awesome best friend who also grows and I’m super glad she finds her forever love during the story.
And Mia. In some ways I could relate and in others what she was going through was totally foreign to me, but no matter what, I could put myself in her place and see why she was struggling with decisions, thoughts, and the world around her. I could relate to having long held hopes and the struggle of wondering if those are still meant to be or if what is a good life but different than what I imagined really what I’m supposed to do?
For inspirational readers you’ll see some faith themes woven into the story. However for those who prefer a clean read with some depth but without faith themes, this story is also for you. It speaks to the goodness of humanity and finding the purpose for your life but does not specifically get into the religious beliefs of the characters.
And lastly, here is my favorite quote. I hope one day, I too can find this place.
“‘Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain.'”
I received a copy of this book for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of Larks, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently, Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, Washington, where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage, and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.
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