A journey of discovery... The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden (Review) @tnzfiction @justreadtours

Welcome! This book has been on my can't-wait list for a while, so
I'm happy to be sharing my review with you. Check that out below...

The Enlightenment of Bees
By Rachel Linden
Women's Fiction, Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 336 Pages
July 9th 2019 by Thomas Nelson


“I combed through the pages with delight. This book is going to cause a real buzz.” --Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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 great need.

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My Review

THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF BEES is a story of self discovery as the heroine finds that the life she had planned on has disappeared. She takes a chance to chase a dream, and finds that dreams can change. It's a heartfelt story of facing hard things and finding yourself and love through them. Recommended to women's fiction fans.

Mia has always felt that she wasn't quite enough or that her love of baking was enough. She wanted to sacrifice her time and travel helping those in need in some way that would change the world. I think many of us can relate to this. Few of us find that we can do that grand of a gesture, but most of us find small ways we can better the world. For Mia, she has to figure out for herself who she is and what she can do to make a positive impact in the world. I loved how easy it was to relate to those feelings and to her as a character. It was a tough for her to go through―to figure out what she may or may not be cut out for. All the while she faces some heartbreaking situations in the slums in India and the refugees streaming into Hungary. She is still so unsure of exactly what she will do and who she is, but eventually she figures it out.

I loved so many of the relationships in this story! There were old friendships and some newly formed. There was family. I especially loved Mia's brother, Henry, and the background noise and dialogue between him and his kids that just cracked me up and that I could relate to as a mother. I also adored her Nana Alice. What a dear, spunky lady. There was also a sweet romance that I felt didn't take over the story, but was a very enjoyable aspect of it. I liked that the story made me think and appreciate the good things in life. So many of us, particularly us women, feel like we need to be contributing in a meaningful way to the world and we don't always see our own roles as mothers or our own talents as doing that. This was a good reminder that we each have our own strengths and can find a way to use those in helping others.

There were a few very small things that I didn't feel quite fit the story. Maybe too many perfect endings to tie the story up, and a few other things that I wasn't completely okay with. However, these were minor.

There were quite a few poignant moments in this story and little nuggets of wisdom that I loved. Here are a few:

When I imagined this trip, imagined a life of service like Mother Teresa's, somehow I didn't factor in the people I would meet. I pictured how I would touch their lives, but I never thought about how they would touch mine.

"I think even small things can change the world for good."

"Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world's great pain. Go find your right place."

"Almost anything can change the world if it's done with love, if you use it to comfort, encourage, or strengthen someone."

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! It's a story full of heart, finding the world is a hard place, and self discovery, with friendships, family, and romance. Definitely a book worth the read and one that would be a great pick for book clubs. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

Content: References to drug use, heavy drinking, and some violence.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through JustReadTours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

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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