Book Review: The History of Bees by Maja Lunde, Diane Oatley (translator)

FallReadsThe History of Bees by Maja Lunde32920292

Published: August 22nd 2017 by Touchstone


In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees and to their children and one another against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.


Without bees, the flowers were just flowers, not blueberries, not bread and butter.

I have a profound interest in our environment – especially with all the natural disasters that have wreaked havoc all over the world in the last few years. The lessening of the bee population is daily news and is something I have even noticed personally. It is alarming to say the last. Without bees and their pollination our food sources will collapse. The world will become unrecognizable. Which is exactly what happened in this novel.

Both eerie and intriguing; I could not put this book down. This is not a fun read, it is quite grim seeing the potential future of our world after humanity has destroyed the environment. Upsetting and very important.

The narrative flowed easily and as a reader you find yourself easily attached to the characters. This story was weaved together seamlessly, making it all the more powerful.

Ingenious. Very glad I read this powerful book.

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for the review copy.

About Maison Moonchild

A Canadian gal that firmly believes words can change the world. An avid reader, writer and Halloween enthusiast. She has a special interest in communications and writes for pleasure and profession. She moonlights as a metaphysical maven with a knack for creating magical crystal jewelry and holiday accessories.
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