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The Enlightenment of Bees

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,371 ratings  ·  464 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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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Kerry *Pale Daughter*
*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
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was looking for something to read while waiting on my holds from the library. I picked this without reading reviews or knowing much about the story. What I found was a delightful story of self discovery and applying one's passion to make the world a better place. The author draws on her own personal experiences in bringing Mia to life.
When Mia's carefully planned life falls to pieces, she impulsively joins her best friend on a humanitarian aid trip around the world. Mia has always dreamed of d
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
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
Katie (never.ending.reading.list)
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
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..
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
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
Aug 08, 2019 rated it 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
Jaymi The OC Book Girl
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up solely for the cover. Imagine my surprise to find a story that has all my favorite things. Food, travel, Mother Teresa, bravery, service to others, courage, hope and love.

Mia was a nice person who really had good intentions when she signs up for a “humanitarian” service trip. She’s struggling to find her place and purpose. I enjoyed Mia’s journey and could tell the author has experience and knowledge of international issues. I could feel the despair and the poverty in the
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
Rachel McMillan
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have decided after reading all of Linden's books to date that her work always shows the following a.) a brilliantly authentic atmospheric trip to the settings she clearly knows wells and that feature so well under her competent pen, b.) a heart for adventures that take us beyond our comfort zones and open our hearts and challenge us to step out of our worlds, c.) clear and alluring prose that frames stories that foster two types of romance: that of the characters and the new worlds and setting ...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
Sarah Monzon
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m really not sure how to start this review. There were so many content things that I really rooted for in this book. The spotlight on voluntourism and even more so on the refugee crisis. I really think more people (I’m looking at us on the privileged side of the world) need to put ourselves in the shoes of those living in poverty and fleeing for their lives so we can make more Christ-like decisions in our everyday life as we answer the question of who our neighbor is and how God is calling us ...more
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
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
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
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
Robin Bonne
Sep 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. Big yikes.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, mlra
I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would. It’s got nice character development, especially with the heroine, Mia. Even the supporting characters are detailed enough and nuanced enough to feel real. I liked that. It brings to light many different social issues around the world, including poverty and the refugee crisis. I have cared about issues like those for a long time, so I was happy to see them addressed in the story. However, the main character was so unlikeable at times that I felt li ...more
Becca-Rae Weidel
As soon as I read the premise for this book I was instantly anxious to give it a read. It looked like it was going to be a shocking, life-altering trip for the characters. I'm really sad to say that I didn't love it as much as  I was hoping or expecting, but I know that there are others who fully enjoyed it so I recommend checking out their reviews as well.

I was surprised to see it written in the present tense. I didn't think it would bother me that much but it did. I also struggled with the fac
Martha Owen
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion
I couldn't finish this book. It just really struck me the wrong way. It's published by Thomas Nelson that has published some of my favorite inspirational fiction authors. Mia struck me as very naive and privileged. She could just quit her job and hope that her boyfriend of six years would propose to her. She could lie to get her way onto the humanitarian trip.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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
AUTHOR Linden, Rachel
TITLE The Enlightenment of Bees
DATE READ 05/22/20
FIRST SENTENCE The day my world crumbles, I am dreaming of piecrust.
GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Fiction/2019/Thomas Nelson-pb/319 pgs
CHALLENGE Good Reads 2020 Reading Goal 98/120; Around the World in 80 Countries 2019-2021 30/80 for 2019; 10/80 for 2020 41/80 2019-2021(Spain, Denmark, Kuwait, Lesotho, Romania, Switzerland, Columbia, New Guniea, Singapore, Luxembourg, Hungary)
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a sweet surprise gifted to me from @Libro , supporting our local bookstores. Thank you for sharing this audiobook with me.

A contemporary romance about a girl who has her whole life ahead of her. Yet, In one day Mia watches her life as she expected it to unfold , to simply crumble before her eyes. She must make a decision in her young life of what to do and find her purpose with passion. She heads out on an adventure that brings her answers to questions she had never thought of before.
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
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 u
Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Y’all. I wanted to like this one. I did. It has all the things you’d put in a book if you wanted to attract me as your reader: a young female protagonist who is passionate about social justice, baking, travel, self-discovery, volunteer work, a love story, even honeybees on the cover - which is what made me pick up this book in the first place and start reading, knowing nothing about it. But...I have questions.

Starting with: Has this person (the author) ever been on an actual service trip?

The p
Carole Jarvis
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Enlightenment of Bees is different from anything I’ve ever read and I enjoyed it. I loved seeing various parts of the world through Rachel Linden’s eyes and journeying along with Mia in her search for purpose in life. It's not all light and fluff, however, as Linden delves into some serious and relevant issues. The writing flows easily across the page and a whimsical touch adds enchantment.

Many readers will be able to connect with a chara
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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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