In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers, weaving a story of their relationship to the bees, to their children, and to 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 he 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.
I read this book for a reading challenge. It’s not normally something I would have picked up otherwise. I’m not a huge fan of time slips (I prefer to just read one story straight through), but I don’t judge a book by it.
The idea behind the story is interesting, and it was fun to see how the characters’ lives fit together. It dragged on a bit though (probably could have been 100 pages shorter without really missing anything). I didn’t really connect with the characters, which was disappointing for me. Characters usually draw me into a story, but William and Tao were pretty self-centered and George was pretty codependent, so it was hard to really get behind/root for any of them.
Not a bad book, but not one that I’ll read again.