In a romantic adventure that travels 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 greatest need.
Sometimes a shattered heart 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.
Adrift and unsure where her future leads now, 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 if she hadn’t opened herself up to the opportunity. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia’s journey through self-discovery leaves her with the choice between the past she left behind and a new budding dream in her heart.
“I combed through the pages with delight. This book is going to cause a real buzz.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
A heartbroken young woman searches for significance on a six-week humanitarian adventure in this fine tale of personal transformation from Linden (An Ascension of Larks). After Mia West's longtime boyfriend breaks up with her, Mia wangles her way under false pretenses into an international humanitarian project funded by a reclusive billionaire. Thinking she would spend the trip getting her heart settled and enjoying world travel, Mia joins her roommate and four others, including a magnetic Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, to serve in the Mumbai slums. As the eclectic team members feed impoverished children and become better acquainted, Mia fights the attraction between Kai and herself. Unexpectedly, the team is diverted to Hungary, where they help refugees flowing in from war-torn Middle Eastern countries. Thrown into a situation beyond her expectations, experience, and emotional bandwidth, Mia learns firsthand the depths of suffering that happen daily outside her little world. Facing the dire situation requires Mia to rely on her faith in ways she never has before, and she turns to God as a source of hope. Linden, an international aid worker herself, writes authoritatively on the dynamics of supplying aid. Inspirational readers will delight in Linden's global scope and spirited group of humane characters.
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.