Does the vanishing of the Bees really indicate a coming ecological collapse? This book follows the lives of three people whose lives are interwoven with the domestication of bees and their disappearance.
In England in 1851 we meet William, a biologist and seed merchant, trying to gain fame by building a new type of beehive. Jumping forward to 2007 and in the USA is George, a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, and hoping his son will follow in the family footsteps. China is the home of Tao who hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees in 2098 when the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident—and is kept in the dark about his whereabouts and condition—she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.
Well. There was a lot in this book for me to love but before we dip into that can we just have a moments appreciation for that cover! What a thing of beauty!
So what’s your preference? Historical fiction? Dystopian? Contemporary? Why choose? With this you’ve got it all! And unusually all three sections are written in first person with authentic sounding voices and a real sense of time and place. But all that is worth little without a good story to tie it together. Luckily this has four good stories, each arc could’ve been extended to a standalone book but I think they are better interwoven. They support a story that twists up through each of them and arches over them to create something better.
It got me thinking, the Bees angle is good but that’s not all there is too it, there’s also a lot about family.
Four and a half bites
NB I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review. The BookEaters always write honest reviews.