The Enlightenment of Bees | Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
About The Book
Title: The Enlightenment of Bees Author: Rachel Linden Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: July 9, 2019 Genre: Women's Fiction
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.
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.
First off, I didn't know I could adore a character with a man-bun. :) But Kai totally stole my heart. And Mia. And Rosie. And Nana Alice. Probably Nana Alice most of all.
I'm not really sure how to explain all the reasons this book earned 5 huge stars! In Rachel Linden's bio it states that she writes "stories about hope, courage, and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy". That is The Enlightenment of Bees. It is brave, blissful, heartstring-tugging, and, above all, delightfully whimsical.
"When your whole world crumbles, eat sugar. That should be embroidered on a cushion somewhere."
Mia's journey is based on Mother Theresa's saying, "Do small things with great love." The book classifies as women's fiction, and isn't technically a Christian book, per se, but I loved tracing the lessons Mia learned back to the Bible and seeing how truth is truth, no matter what. It was a fresh and unique reminder of God's principles of love and how we can touch other people's lives. It made me stop and ponder more than once.
"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."
There was some emphasis on Mia listening to her inner self to determine her path, not letting anyone get in the way of her chasing her passions, losing/finding herself, etc. that leaned more heavily into modern philosophy than is wise. But, balanced with discernment and an understanding that our decisions should be grounded in the Bible, this aspect of the story is valuable! (It focuses on the fact that we should think deeply about our path in life and how we use our God-given talents to touch others, for one, and the dangers of being in a relationship that feels forced, one-sided or suffocating.)
On a lighter note, Bees is a delight for the senses! Seattle, India, and Hungary come alive, and places and situations are textured and authentic (see the author bio). The romance was precious -- all three love stories! -- and the plot twists were unpredictable and fun and kept me turning pages (even while I cooked supper, but we won't get into that!)
"'Life never looks like the pictures,' she said, not unkindly. 'Pictures are just a moment frozen in time, but this . . . is real life. If we want to help people, we cannot focus on their problems, on what we can see just on the outside, the garbage and poverty. We must enter into their lives, be a part of their community. That is where real change happens, person to person, day by day, when we live life together.'"
If -- ahem, *when* -- you read this book, come back and tell me what you thought! Purchase your copy at the links above!
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.*
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