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Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Enlightenment of Bees REVIEW


Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The Enlightenment of Bees
Title: The Enlightenment of Bees
Author: Rachel Linden
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Print Length: 336 pages  
Genre: Women's Fiction, contemporary fiction, Christian fiction
Edition: audiobook
I borrowed this audiobook from my library via the Hoopla app. I also received an Advanced Reader copy of this book for the tour. All opinions are my own, any review is voluntary. My post was originally going to just be a spotlight.


Rachel Linden’s newest contemporary women’s fiction story speaks to the universal struggle of what it means to live a meaningful life where the passions we have meet the needs of the world.

At 26, idealistic baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, baking at The Butter Emporium, and the love of her life, her boyfriend Ethan, by her side.  But when Ethan breaks up with her instead of proposing on their sixth dating anniversary (with the Tiffany blue box in his pocket), Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.

Adrift and devastated, she determines to find new meaning in her life by helping those in need. Guided by recurring dreams about honeybees that seem to be leading her toward this new path in life, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on an around-the-world humanitarian trip funded by the reclusive billionaire, Lars Lindstrom. Along with a famous grunge rock star, an Ethiopian immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the trip of a lifetime. From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s eyes are opened and her idealistic vision is challenged as she experiences the euphoria, disillusionment, and heartbreaking reality of humanitarian work abroad.

As Mia grapples with how to make a difference in an overwhelmingly difficult world, circumstances force her to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the unexpected life she has built.

If you like this you may also enjoy

 "your purpose is where your greatest passion meets the world's greatest pain."



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.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram  

Main Characters

  • Mia West- told from her POV


Mia has always dreamed of traveling the world and making a difference like her Aunt who offers dental services in Africa. When Mia's boyfriend of 6 years dumps her and she loses her job in the same week its like God is giving her a sign. Mia enrolls in a humanitarian trip with her roommate Rosie and they are immediately off of their adventure of travel and helping others.


Seattle- her home, where her family lives
Mumbai- serving after school treat to underprivilege children
Hungary- working in the medical tent in a refugee camp 


coming-of-age. Through the whole book Mia is discovering things about herself. Her confidence, her passion, what she's willing to do, her motivation.

What did I like about the book?

I liked that the main character grew up on a lavender farm surrounded by bees so she keeps referencing bee things. Dreams, buzzing, agitation, life on the farm, ect.

The world was wonderfully described. I can fully imagine the clustered adrenaline driving thru Mumbai and trying different foods for the first time. I've never been out of the continental US but I have befriended foreigners from around the world where they have described life back home. Descriptions of the setting were beautifully done from social media snapshots to meeting immigrants.

The struggle Mia has wondering if what she is doing is making a difference. She thought she wanted to be a saint like Mother Theresa. Change the world, help others in need. In Mumbai she made pancakes. Although making a baked treat happens to be Mia's specialty, is talking to a group of kids for a couple of minutes going to make an impact globally? Mia's experience in Hungary was vastly different but she was ill-equipped and unprepared for her tasks, although she did them wholeheartedly to the best of her ability. The experience was devastating. The need was evident but she felt like she wasn't enough in the short time they were there.

There is love in the book, although its not a love story. Love between family and wanting what's best for them. Love between friends and supporting each other. Love interests and realizing its okay to want different things and have different goals.

What did I not like about the book?


Date Started/Finished : July 26th - August 1st, 2019

Recommend? yes

If you are interested in world travel, humanitarian/ mission trips, reading about refugees, or like a good contemporary story about finding yourself- this book hits all the right notes.
Rating: 4/★★★★★
based off Goodreads' ratings: 4 stars – really liked it, really enjoyable. Definitely recommend and I like seeing it on my bookshelf or lending it out to friends.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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  2. So glad you enjoyed The Enlightenment of Bees! I might have mentioned this already on social media to you, but this one is a story close to my heart with lots of autobiographical elements. I was broken up with, chased by a shark, volunteered as an aid worker at the Rozske refugee camp, and the character of Nana Alice is based on my own 92 year old Grandma Sally's late in life romance! Thanks for reading!