Review: The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden

I’m going to be honest. I got this audiobook as an ALC in my job as a bookseller, and downloaded it at the same time as several other books. By the time I got to it, I couldn’t remember what it was about. I’m embarrassed to say that for a while I thought it was a memoir, until things started happening that I knew I would have heard about if they were real. I blame it on the first person POV and mommy brain.

A note on the narrator: Love her. I will be looking for more books read by Madison Lawrence. Although she sounds a lot like one of the narrators from Three Women, so in the beginning I kept expecting a very different character.

I did not love this book, and it pains me to say it. It’s classified as Christian fiction, which I don’t really think it is. There’s a lot about finding your purpose, but nothing I can remember about God. This isn’t an issue for me in itself. Since I thought I was listening to a memoir, I certainly wasn’t intentionally picking up a religious book. It just bugs me when books are marketed as things they aren’t. On the other hand, I don’t really know how to classify this book. My main problem is that it just feels like there’s too much going on. There are times when agoraphobia and refugees feel like plot devices, which is never okay. There’s a romance that never really makes any sense. And there is such repeated use of the term “Saint Mia” that I wanted to stab myself in the earholes.

What kills me is that there are a lot of makings of a really great book, and it just didn’t do what it could have. I kept hoping for it to be better, and it just wasn’t. I wouldn’t recommend The Enlightenment of Bees unless you’re a very uncritical reader.

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