News: My thoughts are clouds I cannot fathom into pastries.

--1 June 2018--

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

November 15, 2017

{A Review} - The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

I received an ecopy of this novel from Simon & Schuster Canada via Netgalley in return for an honest review. To be completely honest, I actually thought I was receiving a historical book on the history of bees... I should have read the description closer 😛 Nevertheless, after I got over my initial disappointment regarding the fact that it was indeed not a historical report but rather historical/realistic fiction, the story really grew on me.
We journey alongside three character stories; each individual is connected to the world of beekeeping in some manner. The Goodreads description nicely sums up the three viewpoints: 

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.
United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.
China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao's young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

It didn't take long for me to get drawn in to the story and the character arcs proved to be far more riveting than I was initially expecting. It's been a while since I've read a good novel that doesn't fall under the genre of sci-fi or fantasy, but I didn't regret picking up The History of Bees. Let's get in to the breakdown of how I felt overall about this novel. 

  • Goodies: Realism. Tragedy. Multicultural. Mental health. Multi-generational. Science!
  • Character Development: (5/5) The thing I love most about the genre of fictional realism is that the character development is impeccably good. 
  • Content Snatchery: (2/5) The start was rough, so I wasn't vortexed into the plot initially...however, it does pick up, so hold on and you'll be glad you stayed 😃 Particularly for me, I loved Tao's story arc, but I also really loved the latter third of William's arc as well (because -- SCIENCE; I have a soft spot for well-depicted science in fiction).
  • Boring Parts: (a few) I think most books have one or two spots; for me, the introduction was really rough to get into, but Tao's story helps keep the momentum up, so it does get better over time.
  • Romance: (yeah kinda awkward...)  There were several scenes that I wish weren't included... yes I can see the author was aiming for realism and depicting the characters' lives as life-like as possible, but I think a few things were added that we could have done without. Because of these scenes, I would not recommend this book for youth.
  • My eyes are sweating: (4/5) I think each reader will have a different reaction, but for me the storyline following Tao was so well written and crushingly heartbreaking *holds back tears*. 

All in all, I quite enjoyed the book (minus a few parts). Would I recommend it to a friend or a stranger? Probably not (unless I knew they were particularly interested in realistic fiction and beekeeping). Was it a good read? Yes, but again, not quite my cup of tea. Nevertheless, taking a couple steps back from my own personal likes and dislikes, I'd have to rate it a solid 3 out of 5 stars. It was well written, captivating, and otherwise a great piece of literature. 

{Rating} - 3/5 stars

Signed with honey, 


P.S. Briefest life update, dear readers -- I am, indeed, alive. Although...I feel as if life is a horse and I the unhappy rider having been rudely unseated to the embrace of the grimy earth and thereafter dragged behind on the seat of my pants with my legs wrapped up the in reins. I would write you more often, but my hands have been furiously tied to the scientific manuscripts that anxiously demand my attention. It's something like being a mother of paper children that squall angrily behind my back unless I'm soothing them with edits and other fearsome word-hackery, spoon-feeding bites of prepositions and glittery adjectives. *wipes brow* In the mean time, I've fallen hopelessly behind on the number of books I've been asked to review, and so those must come first before anything else I might wish to publish on this darling little blog of mine. 

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