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The Enlightenment of Bees

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  397 ratings  ·  153 reviews
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 sid
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Thomas Nelson (first published July 2019)
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3.86  · 
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 ·  397 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
“In a romantic adventure across 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.”

4 Bee-utiful stars 🐝🐝🐝🐝
Encouraging and uplifting, The Enlightenment of Bees is a lighthearted summertime read about main character Mia finding the right direction for herself while helping others. And that’s what she sets out to do. In a snap, Mia, along with her friend, volunteer as aids with a global
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 t
marita lazarus
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

So let me say it’s an enjoyable read. I’m really rating the book 3.5 star (i just rounded up). This book to me was like drinking a nice cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while sitting on my balcony - comforting and unhurried. The story is about Mia West and her quest in life to find meaning and purpose. Her life was where she wanted it and how she wanted - full o
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed "The Enlightenment of Bees" - a coming-of-age story rooted in the desire to live a life of service.

The plot follows Mia, a young woman from Seattle who embarks on a global humanitarian service trip after the life she had planned falls apart. One of the things I liked most about the book was the way it portrayed the service trip. The characters were very aware that they weren't changi
Susan Peterson
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! This was quite the adventurous ride. Mostly. I understood all too well all the indescribable feelings of visiting another culture for the first time and being faced with all the needs you aren’t certain how to handle. Listening to this audiobook just took me immediately back to my first foray into a different country and culture from my own and every bit of wonder and uncertainty I felt. Mia's emotions as she tried to understand just what this adventure was doing to her insides completely r ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: august-2019
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Just Read Tours for a copy of The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden. Please see my bio for the book tour landing page as well as the purchase link if you are interested! Synopsis of the book will be included in the comments.

The Enlightenment of Bees is a cute read. Following Mia West, within the first few chapters of the book she is dumped by her long term boyfriend, let go from her job, and finds out her Nana has cancer. Set adrift in her own life, she gets t
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 h
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never read any books by Ms. Linden before, but I thought this one looked cute, so I decided to try it. Let me tell you, I am so glad I got the chance to read this amazing tale!

As a reader, I generally gravitate towards more emotional and heavy books because I just like them. I’m not usually a fan of light and funny reads, but this one was like a breath of fresh air and, honestly, it wasn’t all that light because of some of the more serious subjects it dealt with.

So, what did I like about
Fiction Aficionado
~4.5 stars~ I find myself in a slightly unusual position as I begin this review: I can tell you I was drawn into this story from the beginning, but I’m not sure I can tell you exactly why. This is my third book by Rachel Linden, and I’ve found that her prose is always an effortless read, but there was something about Mia’s story that grabbed me in a way Linden’s previous two books didn’t. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy her previous two books, because I did. But there was something about this s ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: print-arcs
What an amazing, heartfelt read. Mia West is the main character and I truly enjoyed joining her on her journey to find herself. After her whole world comes crumbling down around her, suddenly Mia finds her self in a realization: she has no idea who she is alone or what she's supposed to do with her life. She spontaneously joins her best friend, Rosie, on a global humanitarian trip where she thinks she can change the world. But nothing goes the way she expected. I felt what Mia felt while reading ...more
Lisa Hudson
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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 f
Laura Anderson
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Calling all fans of The Great British Baking Show! (Even better if you also love Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, and Won't You Be My Maybe.) You will love this book about baking, international travel, and trying to make the world a better place.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Here's the plot: Apprentice baker Mia's life in Seattle is turned upside down when her long-time boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing. In a whirlwind, she joins a global mission team to do some
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
OK, so I just discovered that this is considered "Christian Fiction." I didn't get much of that in the actual book, except maybe the "beatific Mia" who wanted to be "Saint Mother Teresa," and perhaps the weird humanitarian effort that Mia joined. Why was it weird? Because it was backed by this billionaire who lives on his own island somewhere in Florida, and who hosted the teams of volunteers so lavishly and honestly, kind of in bad taste for what his mission was.

It seemed almost exploitative..
The Bookend Diner
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Thomas Nelson books for gifting me an advanced reader copy of the Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden.

Have you ever read a book that felt as if it were just destined for you to read it at that particular time in your life? If you haven’t, well I hope that one day you will because it’s almost… magical. If you have, then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that this book, The Enlightenment of Bees fell into my lap at a point in time that I really needed something upl
Karen R
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot, especially the various settings across the globe. Loved all the referrals to local landmarks in Seattle and Sequim too. The lavender farms in that area are lovely when in bloom! The writing flowed really well, and carried the storyline seamlessly through all the travel segments.
It reads more like a clean, general fiction book, kind of a coming of age type storyline. There was little to no spiritual content. It would have given the story more meaning if there had been
Angela Walker
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this audiobook from my library via the Hoopla app. 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.

Through the whole book Mia is discovering things about herself.
Suzie Waltner
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. It starts out well. Mia’s life falls apart, forcing her to take a hard look at what she truly wants out of her life.

Then it takes an odd turn. The humanitarian group is flown to an island in Florida where they’re given what amounts to an all-expense-paid vacation for this group of twenty-somethings. I can see the point of this section—to introduce readers to the rest of Mia’s team members but it was so unrealistic and disproportionate, it was a bit
Hallie Szott

When she loses both her job and her boyfriend of six years, Mia West has to reevaluate what she wants for her future. She has always believed she should do “something more,” so she agrees to join her friend, Rosie, on a humanitarian trip around the world. Only, she has much more to learn about herself and her future than she knew.

Rachel Linden’s The Enlightenment of Bees is much more than its charming cover suggests. Of course, it is charming with its touches of humor, romance, and whimsy, bu
Jo Ann
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
For being a light romance, I found this book not only entertaining, but personally challenging. Mia has lost both her job and the future with her long-time boyfriend that she dreamed about and expected. She decides to go on a humanitarian world-wide trip with her friend, Rosie, and discovers some not-so-great things about’s harder to make the difference she thought she’d be making in the slums of India or the refugee camps of Hungary! Although at times I rolled my eyes, I still find ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

I don't want to call this a light or easy read because the story does attempt to tackle some big issues and human rights crises, but it didn't have a hard-hitting tone to it, and moved pretty quickly. It felt a little moralistic, but I think the ultimate theme and message of using your own passions to make an impact on the world was worth the read.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Sometimes a shattered dream 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
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I originally gravitated to this book due to the description. The main character, Mia West, seemed to be at a standstill in life—much like I am in my own life—and I was eager to see if I could find a new “path” for myself through the character’s journey. The story for me was enjoyable…for the most part. I had just finished reading another Syrian refugee story the
Kerry *Soulcaster*
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
*2 stars*
Wow! Most readers gave this book a 4 star rating but I had a hard time taking it seriously. One of the characters took designer clothes on a humanitarian trip. The fact that some of the characters initially thought that the trip would be a good opportunity to explore different countries seemed shallow and ridiculous. Who would expect to have the chance to visit the Taj Mahal while working to provide relief in the slums of Mumbai? The main character lied in her interview when she said sh
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden is a delightful story of being true to yourself and finding your place in this world.

Growing up on her parents lavender farm on the Olympic Peninsula, Mia dreamed of going out into the world, making a difference, changing lives. As the story begins she is eagerly awaiting a marriage proposal from her boyfriend of six years, ready to put her dreams aside for the security of the future they have planned together. Fortunately life has other plans and Mia
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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!

* NetGalley provided an ARC for my honest
Courtney LaShea
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-reviews
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
Brooke Nuzie
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
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!

I received a compli
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Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and studied creative writing at Oxford University. Rachel lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and two child ...more
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