Cover Image: The Enlightenment of Bees

The Enlightenment of Bees

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Member Reviews

I wanted to read this book because it was set in Seattle and I thought bees would play have a major role in the storyline. It did have a wonderful tie to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest (Sequim), but the bees play a minor role … almost a forced afterthought. Don’t let that stop you from reading the book. The ‘about the author’ section states that Linden “enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.” I would say that she accomplished that with this book. It’s light and easy. A wonderful summertime read. A few of the characters are under-developed, but the overall sweetness of the story is enough to carry you on. 

I lived in Seattle for a decade, and made many visits to the lavender farms of Sequim. I’m now creating my own little slice of heaven in Oklahoma, and have a fascination with bees. Seattle, bees, and so much more are the subjects of my blog at

I received an advance digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
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What a lovely afternoon's read.  The Enlightenment of Bees is a light, relatively easy read.  That is not to say it is  without substance though. Rachel Linden has created a really engaging three dimensional heroine, and I think many will find engaging and relatable.  I think that what I really appreciated was the ease with which Ms Linden made me familiar with the character and put me squarely in her corner.  The story of her choosing to pick herself up while helping others is never over sentimentalized.  The settings are vivid and well drawn, and the story itself compelling and entertaining. This is my first Rachel Linden, but definitely not my last! 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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This is a wonderful story about discovering your path and making the world a better place in the meantime. Linden writes with such beautiful description that readers can truly imagine being where Mia is, experiencing the things she is experiencing. This book has a smidgen of romance and humor sprinkled throughout, but the heart of the story is surprisingly deep. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel via NetGalley and courtesy of Thomas Nelson. All expressed opinions are my own.
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Three words I would use to describe this book are inspiring, delightful, and meaningful. The Enlightenment of Bees caught my attention from the first page and held it until the very end! 

The main character, Mia is unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and so begins her life-changing humanitarian adventure. Along with her roommate, Rosie, and a small slew of other characters, she travels around the world trying to make a difference and learning a lot about herself in the process.

One thing that needs to be mentioned about this book is how amazing the descriptions are. Rachel Linden has a way with words and you feel like you are right there in Mumbai and Hungary with the characters. The Enlightenment of Bees is a coming of age story that has a little bit of everything from romance to adventure and should immediately be added to your #tbr list!

** I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Inspiring, light and loveable. This book about humanitarian work and life will make you want to read it all in one sitting. The descriptions were vivid and wonderful. I would recommend this to someone needing a book to pick you up and help you see how helping others will ultimately help everyone! Great summer read.
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[Review coming in the September Woman Alive book club]

When wondering what to read next, I was grabbed by the title, The Enlightenment of Bees. But would it capture my attention like Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees? This one is not in that league, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

It’s the journey of Mia, who finds herself not, as she anticipated, engaged to her long-time boyfriend, but with him ending their relationship all together. With her life plans changed, she joins her best friend on a sponsored trip first to India and then to Hungary to help with Syrian refuges. This trip becomes a journey of discovery, not least about herself.  

The author is an international aid worker who has lived in 50 countries, so she’s able to bring to life not only the experience of living in another country with authenticity but raises key questions mission partners and aid workers face. For example, the author’s protagonist, Mia, wanted to be “Saint Mia,” who would see “the world and change it for good.” But, as Mia reflected in thinking about her travels, “what changed was my own heart.” She was humbled by how little impact she actually had in contrast to what she imagined before the trip. Yet as she sought to find meaning in the experience, she held onto some advice given to her: “Your place in the world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain.” For her, that answer involved baking. Mixing flour, sugar and butter in creative and innovative ways gave her an outlet in which to serve others and shower her love on them. 

I enjoyed this novel but wished it would have had some more explicitly Christian content, seeing as it was published by a Christian publisher. The closest the author came was in her theme of Mia being visited by bees in dreams and in real life. Some Christians, however, might object to the idea of these insects being messengers of God.
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I enjoyed this new release from Rachel Linden.  It was quite a journey for young Mia West trying to find her purpose in life.  Life doesn't always work out how we have it envisioned in our minds, but if we are willing to see things differently, we can get where we are supposed to be.  This book shows that following your dreams can be a wonderful thing and doesn't always lead you where you thought you were going but where you were intended to be...great read!
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This is about Mia searching to find herself, after  splitting up with her boyfriend  of 6 years.
She travels to Mumbai and Hungary doing charity work and helping at a refugee camp.
Felt the subject of refugees wasn't covered in enough depth, hence 3 star rating.
Thanks to Netgalley for an Arc.
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“Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain,” she says firmly. “Go now and find that place.”

I really loved this book. There are some parts that are a bit difficult to believe, like the whole Lars scenario, but overall the plot is meaningful and really made me think. I especially appreciated the parts that deal with voluntourism--which is what most humanitarian or mission trips turn out to be. They aren't lasting changes that will make a difference in the peoples' lives, they are a drop in, feed them pancakes and play soccer, and leave. The "tourist" feels good for having done something, but it's not real. I have long felt like these types of trips need to change, relationships with people in other countries need to change. Getting off my soapbox for now but this book brought out a lot of issues with this...
This book is a great combination of topics that resonated with me as a reader. I hope that readers interested in a book with a deeper message about things we don't often think about will pick this one up.
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The Enlightenment of Bees is the story of a girl whose perfect life and all expectations are flipped upside down and she goes on a journey to find herself and her new place in the world. While this storyline has been done a million times, the uniqueness in this book is what Mia does next. She joins a humanitarian trip around the world to do good for those less fortunate. It is a beautiful and insightful look at human relations, poverty, love and loss, and chasing your dreams. 

You can tell that the author has some personal experience dealing with these humanitarian crises and locals. The settings are wonderfully done and you feel like you're there with the characters. This was probably my favorite part of the story. Although I wish they could have travelled to more locations, I loved where they ended up but hated how it ended so quickly!

Linden uses this book to look into the current refugee crisis in Europe with those trying to escape terror and unrest in the Middle East. This was the first fiction book I have read that really tackled this concept and I flew through the pages trying to devour it all. It was truly eye opening and it gave me a new perspective on these current issues. 

My main problem with this book and the reason I can't give it 5 stars (because I really loved the concept and the story) is I couldn't like the main character. She was such a typical 20 something girl who doesn't realize how beautiful she is and everyone seems to just love. It also had my biggest pet peeve that books can have - the whole "I'm not like other girls." Gah. We get it, you're quirky and don't like trends therefore you're so much better than all the other girls out there. I am so over this technique for writing female leads!!! I almost dnf early on when Mia was being introduced but I am glad I didn't. The rest of the story makes up for her and there is so much more to this than just a love/finding yourself story
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The Enlightenment of Bees is a heart warming story on how Mia deals with life after her boyfriend of 6 years decides he no longer wants to be with her. 

The author takes us on an international adventure, with Mia deciding to throw herself into humanitarian aid work right after the breakup, which has been a lifelong dream of hers. The descriptions of each country are so vivid and appealing that you really do feel like you are there!

While on her international adventures, it is up to Mia to decide what she wants to do with her life. The characters in the story are all likeable and I found myself rooting for them all to get their happy ever after.

Thanks to Netgally and Thomas Nelson Fiction for my complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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I was lucky enough to be selected as a part of the launch team for this book and I really enjoyed it! The writing is very descriptive as far as the sights and sounds (and also the smells and tastes in this one, LOL.) I thought that the characterizations were great. I especially liked the character of Nana Alice. I wish my grandmother had been around into my adult life! I thought that the book had kind of a Wizard of Oz feel to it, you know at the end when Dorothy says, “if I ever go looking for my heart again I will look in my own front yard?” Because Mia’s heart was definitely at home, she just had to go all over the world to find it! I’d recommend this book if you’re a fan of Sarah Addison Allen, the settings are different but the themes are similar. I look forward to reading other books by Rachel Linden in the future!
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This story is Legally Blonde meets Eat Pray Love. The book was very well written and enjoyable, which got it 4 stars, but wasn’t quite my type of book. While I related to Mia because I love baking and have zero clue what I’m doing with my life, I’m not the biggest fan of coming-of-age finding-myself novels. And I loved Kai, but don’t think every time a girl finds herself she also needs to find a man in the process. That being said, if those are your jam you will love this one!
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I received a copy of this book from #netgalley  I thought it was Christian fiction, but there was very little reference to God.  So I would put it at the clean woman's fiction category and am reviewing at such (meaning that I am trying to not let the lack of spiritual aspects downgrade the book).  I liked the premise of trying to make a difference in the world, but I felt like some of the story rambled and jumped about.  I thought it could have been more.  This is an almost romance as well, and I did feel like that added to the story.   I would probably give this story a 3.5 - I rounded up on behalf of the author.
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The Enlightenment of Bees is a heartwarming story about a young woman’s quest to find out who she is, and how she can use her skills and passion to make a difference in the world. In a matter of days, Mia loses both her boyfriend and her job, leaving her lost and confused. She embarks on a humanitarian mission that takes her to the slums of India and to a refugee camp in Hungary. The author did a wonderful job of placing me in those places, feeling the despair, the poverty, the distress. Mia was a fascinating character, and watching her grow throughout her journey touched my heart.
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An entertaining read that includes a little bit of everything--romance, adventure, self-introspection. Mia attempts to find her true self and volunteers overseas to help refugees. While witnessing violence, sadness and hardship she learns it is not her calling after all. Mia eventually realizes that what she really loves doing is all that matters.
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Thanks to #Netgalley, #ThomasNelsonPublishing, and author Rachel Linden for the opportunity to review this book.

When I first read the information on this book, I thought this isn't what I've been reading, so let's give it ago. First this book was a fast read for me. Can't wait to share this with my local book club. 
The book is about a young lady who is wanting to make a difference in the world, just not sure how. When her relationship takes a turn, the opportunity to make a difference falls in her lap. Of course, that's not a smooth ride. As Mia learns how bad things really are in the world, and how she isn't sure how she can make a difference. But this also makes her grow as a person. And finds her way to make a difference. 
Very inspiring book.
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Thank you Thomas Nelson--FICTION and Netgalley for the review copy!

I really enjoyed the beginning of THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF BEES but as the story progressed I started to lose interest.
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This was such a good book about a girl named Mia and what she decided to do with her life.It was a very descriptive book, I felt like I was right next to Mia the whole time! I could almost hear bees buzzing around!
Definitely add to your list! Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the early copy
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