The History of Bees

  • by Maja Lunde
  • Narrated by Joy Osmanski, Steve West, Gibson Frazier
  • 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loved it

Absolutely loved this. Wonderfully written and performed. Was truly sad when it ended. Had tones of Station 11, Never Let Me Go with a David Mitchell style but still completely her own. Highly recommend.
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- Paul

worse than a handful of dead bees

This book was dreadful. Three bad novellas, each too long, each with characters steeped in self pity, each drab and cheerless. I wouldn't have bothered if this had not been a book group book.

I am not a fan of dystopian gloom, historical fiction and end-of-the-world-is-nigh bad-science fiction. CCD might have been big in 2006 but I am told there hasn't been a case in 5 years. It is a recurring trouble and has been with us for a couple of hundred years. So not just since modern pesticides. I get the feeling the author thought it was a suitably romantic theme to hang her flaccid characters on, ignoring the facts while bleating on about humans creating their own demise. Oddly I think I'd prefer a world where everything was falling to pieces, there wasn't excess cheap food and folk had to work in the fields pollinating trees. But you would have human height trees not full size fruit trees; only a dimwit (author) would have full sized trees for hand pollination. Come on Maja put your thinking cap on.

The structure was absolutely predictable with no surprises. One of the main themes runs parallel to the opening chapters of Coupland's Generation A, but takes an age to unfold and has less to say and fewer dramatic turns.

And some of the worst writing I've listened to in a long time. I was surprised it got published. You have been warned.
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- Peter Buchanan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-08-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio