Cover Image: The Enlightenment of Bees

The Enlightenment of Bees

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Member Reviews

The Enlightenment of Bees tells the story of Mia who has seen her planned life fall apart and is responding in a beautiful way. She is embarking on a global humanitarian trip. She wants to be of service in the world. Mia had a man she loved and wanted to marry, and a job she loved. Unfortunately just as she thought he would propose he ended the relationship. To make matters worse, she loses her job and her beloved grandmother is very ill. Most of us wallow in self-pity when that happens but this woman decided to do good in the world. And the author did a beautiful job here not making it too grand where the characters believed they were changing the world. They knew they could do some good but that their footprint would be small. I liked the message. Do good even if it is in a small way.

As would be expected Mia meets people from all walks of life and they affect her in big ways. She sees a world she didn't yet know. She grows and changes, and when she returns home she is ready to start life again, she just isn't sure what that will be.

The author put a lot of emphasis on the global refugee crisis and I enjoyed this aspect of it a great deal. It felt as though Ms. Linden did her research, kept an open mind, and appreciated people from all the cultures explored. I have been lucky to do some traveling in my life and have always found the beauty in each pace I have visited and am glad that this came through on the pages.

My biggest complaint for this one was the simplicity came off as a bit too effortless. While Mia seemed authentic and genuine most of the other characters felt a bit cartoonish. They had no depth and their personalities felt a bit forced, like the author had in mind the person's purpose in the book and made them meet that need even if it wasn't quite realistic. And the ending felt too perfect. Everyone was right where they should be with the problems answered. I much prefer a book that leaves me guessing a bit.

However, it is certainly inspiring and warm and left me feeling empowered to do more in the world.
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This is a sweet little coming of age story that follows a young women who is trying to find her place in the world. The sights and sounds and smells (there's a lot of baking going on here) were all well described and immersive. There is a little romance thread throughout the story. A lot of different topics were touched on a bit. I enjoyed the relatively light summery read.
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The Enlightenment of Bees is a story of Mia, who's life is all she ever imagined. A boyfriend of 6 years, an internship at a bakery, and a beautiful relationship with her grandmother! All of that is turned upside down when her boyfriend dumps her, she gets let go at the bakery, and her gma has cancer. Heartbroken and devastated, she embarks on a humanitarian trip to find her meaning and her dreams.

If your looking for a book of chasing your dreams, finding meaning to life, and self discovery this is it! I adored this book. Rachel Linden does an excellent job of intertwining Mia and her struggles and learning how to give back in her own way.

I really appreciated how much research and details went into the refugee crisis. At times, it felt like you were right there. The cities, the hunger, the desperation of these people were truly heartbreaking. An excellent job of representing the horrors that these refugees face!

Thank you to #netgalley for the arc for my honest opinion!
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Mia is at a crossroads in life as she finds herself unemployed and recently single, so she embarks on a spontaneous journey of self-discovery. “The Enlightenment of Bees” immerses the reader into a meaningful story, and I appreciate the author intertwining these messages of positivity throughout the book. The book is a quick, sweet, and light read. With the novel being such a fast read, some parts seem a bit too undeveloped (thus the “sweet and light”), but it does integrate some topics of deeper meaning. The book addresses some serious issues, such as poverty in India, and refugee crises. I appreciate the different relationships within the story, especially the one between Mia and her Nana Alice. The two have such a strong bond, and a beautiful connection. Overall, the novel conveys themes of strength, independence, love, and seeking a way to find your place and make a difference in the world. It’s enjoyable, and a book that will leave your heart warmed. Overall I’d rate it 3.75 Stars-rounding up to 4 Stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction. I received a complementary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy from and NetGalley for my unbiased opinion of the book. Mia West has somewhat unrealistic view how things really are in her life. When she gets almost proposed to and ends up breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, reality starts to set in. When she decides to try to become a modern-day Mother Theresa does real reality and change begin to happen within her. It takes coming back home due to grandmother’s poor health and a surprise visit from her aunt that motivated her so long ago, to help her find her true calling in life. I loved this book I couldn’t put it down and read it in less than 24 hours. It makes you believe that you can make your dreams a reality, whatever they end up turning out to be.
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This novel is about a young woman named Mia who, when her relationship and job suddenly crumble, joins her roommate on a humanitarian mission funded by a new foundation. So it's a novel about a woman finding herself but with a twist, as it definitely focuses on finding purpose/meaning in life, not just a job and a relationship. The mix between the light contemporary women's fiction tone and the humanitarian angle with its depiction of slums and refugees was not always entirely successful, but it did make this book different and interesting, and I loved the line "your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain." 3.5 stars.
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What a great book, I really enjoyed this one!

I loved the characters, especially Mia’s grandma Nana Alice. 
I loved the settings, especially the part set in Seattle which is one of my fave places.
I loved the way everything turned out in the end of this one.
And, I also loved how helping refugees was a theme in this one. That’s not something I’ve seen in any other books I’ve read and I found it really touching.
I definitely recommend this one, especially if you’re looking for a sweet feel good book with a happy ending. It was just delightful.
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This story checked all of the boxes for me! It was easy to connect to the main character Mia West. The story starts out as Mia's future with the love of her life goes in a completely different direction than planned when she does not get the marriage proposal she was expecting. This leaves her heart broken and in search of her true purpose in life. Influences from her family lead her to feel that taking a global humanitarian mission  with her good friend Rosie is where she should be. There are some interesting characters along the way, including a rock star with a drug problem, the billionaire Lars, that funds the trip, and handsome Kia, who catches her attention from day one. There is much self discovery throughout the trip, as it becomes apparent that making a difference in the world is much more complicated than the service they are providing to children in Mumbai. The story takes an adventurous turn when the teams mission changes and they are flown in to aid a refugee camp in Hungary. Along the way Mia, Rosie and even Mia's ailing grandmother discover  new love. I like the fact that although this is a novel, many of the situations came from the authors own life experience.  It was so enjoyable that I hated to see it end. Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Pub for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Mia thinks she has her future mapped out, with a long term relationship, an apprenticeship at a bakery and family close by. All that comes to a halt when her boyfriend breaks up with her instead of proposing. Unsure what to do with her life Mia joins a humanitarian group and travels to Florida, Mumbai, and Hungary where she tries to figure out what she truly wants out of life. 

Overall, I thought this was a solid sip your coffee on the front porch in the morning with a book kinda read. It was solid with the characters finally coming full circle at the end.
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This book HITS THE SPOT!! It’s so refreshing!! ⁣
✅ plot moves quickly. ⁣
✅ I’m invested in the characters. ⁣
✅ great use of foreshadowing with just enough tension⁣
✅Believable dialogue. ⁣
✅ Interesting setting ⁣
I give it an A+! ⁣
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.⁣
#enlightenmentofbees #netgalley #reviewathon #bookshark #booksharks #bookstagram #booklove #summerreading
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This is a well told coming of age story of a girl named Mia.  She thinks she has her life all planned out till changes happen that are out of her hands.  She, a friend, and others are chosen to travel to different places around the world for humanitarian work.  In the different places she is challenged with how we can find our place in this world helping others.  There is light, clean romance that develops.  Sweet story!   
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you  NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this e-copy!
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This book was so mesmerizing! I adored this coming of age novel and it had em stop to consider my own life choices. 

Mia has her life mapped out. Perfect man, perfect future, perfect plan but tragedy has her unsure of what to do with her life.  She wants to make a difference in her world and takes part of an overseas humanitarian trip. She meets someone there who helps educate her on how to really make a difference and immerse herself in other's communities.

Thank you for this wonderful book!
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This was a first book by this author and I loved the story!! I connected with these characters from the first page! A wonderful read
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Rachel Linden is a wonderful storyteller, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful journey.  The author captures different places and cultures with wonderful descriptions which simply enhanced my reading experience.  In a realistic way, the main character seeks to find her place in the world and how she can make an impact.  I appreciate the hard lessons and honest realizations that she experiences along the way. The romantic struggle also involves discovery and was a nice touch.   The descriptions of the humanitarian work might make some feel a little uncomfortable, but perhaps will help in one’s own quest to discover a way to make a difference in our world.  I think that anyone who has found themselves on an unexpected journey will appreciate this book.  I was given a copy of this book by the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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3.5/5 stars

***I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I enjoyed this light romance that focused on the main character's life and personal choices while she ventured on a humanitarian trip around the world. 

Mia thinks she has her life all figured out and it's amazing. All that changes in one day when she's dumped by her boyfriend of six years and loses her job she loves at the local bakery. Mia's best friend, Rosie, convinces her to go with her and take someone's place on a last minute  humanitarian trip around the world. Along the way she finds out things aren't always what they seem including what she thought her life should look like. 

Pacing & Points of View
The overall pacing of this story was average and the story was told entirely from Mia's point of view. I read it in a few days and believe I could have easily read it in a day without distractions.

I really enjoyed reading Mia's story about self discovery and her journey throughout the world. There were a few side stories and characters that I wasn't completely interested in and I felt there was a little too much time spent wasted on the ex-boyfriend. I would have loved if those words could have been better used for more Mia and Kai scenes! The light soft romance between Mia and Kai were my favorite parts.

Overall, I really liked this drama filled, world traveling, and non-steamy sweet romance. It's a good read if you're looking for a lighter romance with all the feels and reminiscent of other stories of self discovery.  

Thank you so much to NetGalley & the publisher Thomas Nelson for allowing me the opportunity to read this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF BEES by Rachel Linden is mesmerizing! It is a meaningful, coming of age novel that will make you stop and consider your own life choices. I think most of us have struggled with the question of, “What can I do with my life that will truly make a difference in the world?” Linden tackles this question and paints a breathtaking story using beautiful word pictures to describe how quickly one’s life can change forever.

Mia has her life mapped out. Perfect man, perfect future, perfect plan ... until it all crashes in one fatal encounter. She has absolutely no idea what to do with her life. She desperately wants to make a difference in her world. She feels limited in her skills yet she loves to bake. Her biggest question is, “How can she change someone’s life through baking?” She is blessed with an opportunity to go on an overseas Humanitarian Trip. The trip is almost overwhelming. She finds herself thinking she is going to change the world but quickly realizes how limited her thinking has been. A coworker in India, Shreya, puts things in perspective for Mia with these comments:

“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.”

Once Mia takes those words captive she begins to understand the big picture and slowly begins to see how to incorporate her unique gifts to help other people who are struggling in the world. The people she meets and the adventures she encounters will change the course of her life forever. Mia could not even fathom the “better things” that were waiting for her or how close they were from the beginning. 

I was provided an ARC of this book by Harper Collins Publishing & NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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I had been hearing really positive things about this book so I was curious what the buzz was all about. After seeing the photos posted on social media for days on end, I decided didn't want to miss the opportunity to read it since I liked this authors work.

With a fantastic storyline and interesting characters, Ms. Linden takes her readers on a journey that quite frankly is thought provoking and admirable.  I had a great deal of respect for Mia, I mean she was expecting a marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend but got a broken heart instead when he breaks up with her.  Did she languish for long?  No, she did not, she accompanies her friend on an around-the world humanitarian trip. 

I'm sure that it is never easy to see first-hand the conditions the refuges experience but it's an important topic which makes me cry when I see something like this reported in the news.  Mia is on a journey of self discovery along the way as she tries to help those in need with her traveling companions.   I really liked the entire group and thought the author wrote each of them extremely well.  I also like the message of how the future doesn't always turn out the exactly as you planned but it can still be just as bright.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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26 year old Mia is a planner to a tea. She plans everything and she thinks she has her life sorted out quite nicely until the unthinkable happens. Because of this Mia needs to pick up the pieces of her broken future and find out who she truly is. This is a fun gem of a read. I highly recommend it.
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A good summer read.  A little romance, some world travel and lots of self-discovery.  
After being dumped mid-proposal, Mia decides to follow her dream and travel with a humanitarian group to do good in the world.  She quickly realizes that the work is not what she thought it would be and definitely not for her.  Now she has to rethink her whole life and what she really wants.
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This sweet and earnest story captured my heart. I enjoyed traveling along with Mia as her journey twisted and turned across the world, and bringing her closer to happiness and love. It's nice to read a book for pure enjoyment, full of realistic characters, and a happy ending.
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