This memoir was hit and miss for me The stuff about the bees was so interesting and I learned so much The stuff about her mother and granny felt really forced The writing felt like her childhood self was writing it, but I could tell if that was a choice It was just ok for me.UPDATE turns out this book is YA which makes sense why i found the authors voice to be juvenile. Bees need the warmth of family alone, a single bee isn t likely to make it through the night THE HONEY BUS is a touching memoir of Meredith May s 1970s childhood in Big Sur, California.At age five after her parents divorce, Meredith, her mother, and brother left their home in Rhode Island to return to Big Sur to live with her maternal grandparents in their small home.Meredith was left rudderless, as she had lost her father physically and her mother emotionally, to severe depression and violent mood swings Meredith struggled at first to fit in at school with children who exuded joyfulness, which was unknown to her With the attention of her grandfather, a beekeeper and outdoorsman, Meredith slowly began to heal and thrive Meredith began to accompany her grandfather on his errands, and he began teaching her the art of beekeeping The extreme concentration and calm that beekeeping required helped Meredith to focus on beekeeping instead of her worries Her gentle grandfather taught her the wisdom of the beehive in metaphors that easily translated into life lessons Together in the old dilapidated military bus in which they bottled honey, they talked privately about their hopes and cares THE HONEY BUS is a hopeful, heartwarming memoir that is a testament to the transformative power of nature and a grandparent s love. An Extraordinary Story Of A Girl, Her Grandfather And One Of Nature S Most Mysterious And Beguiling Creatures The Honeybee Meredith May Recalls The First Time A Honeybee Crawled On Her Arm She Was Five Years Old, Her Parents Had Recently Split And Suddenly She Found Herself In The Care Of Her Grandfather, An Eccentric Beekeeper Who Made Honey In A Rusty Old Military Bus In The Yard That First Close Encounter Was At Once Terrifying And Exhilarating For May, And In That Moment She Discovered That Everything She Needed To Know About Life And Family Was Right Before Her Eyes, In The Secret World Of BeesMay Turned To Her Grandfather And The Art Of Beekeeping As An Escape From Her Troubled Reality Her Mother Had Receded Into A Volatile Cycle Of Neurosis And Despair And Spent Most Days Locked Away In The Bedroom It Was During This Pivotal Time In May S Childhood That She Learned To Take Care Of Herself, Forged An Unbreakable Bond With Her Grandfather And Opened Her Eyes To The Magic And Wisdom Of NatureThe Bees Became A Guiding Force In May S Life, Teaching Her About Family And Community, Loyalty And Survival And The Unequivocal Relationship Between A Mother And Her Child Part Memoir, Part Beekeeping Odyssey, The Honey Bus Is An Unforgettable Story About Finding Home In The Most Unusual Of Places, And How A Tiny, Little Understood Insect Could Save A Life I don t read memoirs about dysfunctional childhoods They re depressing and there are too many people in my life who ve had bad childhoods, as well as sad stories you see on the news I was attracted to Meredith May s memoir only for the bees and I love it so much I haven t shut up about it Long after I forget her painful family issues I will remember this book with love It s all because of Granddad and the bees.May s memoir covers her life from ages five to fifteen, with an epilogue When she was five her parents split up Her mother moves her and her little brother from Rhode Island to Carmel, California where Meredith s grandmother lives with her husband of nineteen years, E Franklin Peace, a fourth generation beekeeper and a remarkably kind and wise man with no children of his own Both he and her grandmother are descendents of Carmel Valley s original pioneers The couple doesn t have much money but they live on a good sized property in Carmel, and Granddad owns land in beautiful Big Sur on which he raises most of his honeybees.Meredith s mother is depressed and volatile and it seems like her father has abandoned his children Their grandmother is stern and cold hearted, which begs the question of why this well loved man aptly named Peace gave up his happy single life for her Whatever, he and his honeybees are the heroes of Meredith s life and of the book It is he who was Meredith s lodestar Granddad has many hives in Big Sur and some near the house He harvests all the honey in a big bus parked at home Peace loves his bees, raises them naturally, knows everything there is to know about his own and other kinds, cares deeply about their welfare and is endlessly enthusiastic about all bee things great and small Meredith has understandable difficulty adjusting to the challenges of her new life Granddad is the one person who always has her back and he uses the bees as a tool to guide her, imparting life lessons in his gentle, loving way He also genuinely wants to teach her all the science and art of raising them, and via her memoir the reader learns along with Meredith and shares her growing enthusiasm and fascination May writes in an easygoing style and Peace is a patient teacher I knew less than I thought about bees All creatures are fascinating but bees are especially, and there is so much to learn I had no idea how specific each one s job is About the myriad ways in which they use their wings, bodies and antennae Or that the tiniest movement has a very specific function To pass on information they wiggle their butts, move their antennae, position their heads and establish formations in very particular ways The details are all in the book and there s much There s also brief information about threats to their continuing health and survival I think we all know life as we know it on our planet depends on bees.There s a part where Granddad teaches Meredith how to look closely to spot and interpret honeybees distinct dance moves During that part and after I had a mental picture of Bee Girl from the No Rain video Bee Girl s exuberance matches Meredith s, and mine, at the wonder of it all It s a special book I m smiling as I type this. Everyone should read The Honey Bus, a parable for our time, a beautifully composed memoir of, for the most part, a young girl Meredith May who, with her younger brother Matthew, experiences the despair of a broken home, separated parents and a dysfunctional mother Moved away from their father and Rhode Island to live with grandparents in California Step grandpa is a beekeeper, has been for many years A fount of knowledge about honey bees and their invaluable contribution to life Uses an old military bus converted for use to harvest honey Meredith is captivated and comes to learn everything about the husbandry of bees from grandpa, who loves her and her brother, unconditionally Meredith s personality will be shaped by the life lessons learned in a bee yard Every child should have that same opportunity to grow.A story of love, hope, despair, redemption a wake up call to help honey bees live closer to the way nature intended bees that are threatened with Varroa destructor and a host of newer diseases such as Nosema gut pathogen and the Slow Bee Paralysis virus.Meredith does her small part she owes her Grandpa at least that much to continue his work and she owes it to the beesThe Honey Bus has left a lasting impression on me and has been an education about the vital need for us to help honey bees survive Without them we are lostThe highest possible recommendation from me I urge you to read The Honey Bus.My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC. Why do I keep gravitating to depressing dysfunctional childhood memoirs Could someone please remind me to step away This is the story of Meredith, whose parents divorced when she was a child, and her mother took her and her little brother to live in California with Granny and Grandpa Mom was useless, Granny was strict, but Grandpa loved the kids and taught them all about his hives, and about the bees who inhabited them. One of the most touching books I have ever read It will stay with me for a long long time As well as being biographical it is so informative about bees and how important they are to our survival I cannot recommend this book highly enough Everyone should read it. This is a cross between a memoir of a difficult childhood and a hymn to the honeybee.Meredith and her brother Matthew come to California with their unstable mother following the breakup of their parents marriage, to stay with grandparents Grandfather is a passionate beekeeper, and in bees Meredith finds solace without sentimentality, as she discovers the intricate social life of bees, with both its cooperation and its capacity for ruthlessness.Much of the book is taken up with superb accounts of that social life, seen through a child s eyes There are warnings of the threats to bees, which have worsened since Meredith s childhood.This is a book to savour, both as natural history and as a depiction of a young girl learning to survive and make the best of things in very painful family surroundings.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me have an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I usually never gravitate towards reading memoirs but something hit home when I saw this cover and was intrigued.I can tell you I felt so at home in my heart and soul through this book I m so glad that I took a chance on this book because it truly was a beautifully written story about pain, grief, and the power of love despite coming from a dysfunctional family.Meredith and her brother Matthew grew up in a very dysfunctional family net Both of Meredith s parents broke up in the beginning resulting in Meredith and her brother moving to California to live with their grandparents Meredith grew up with the loss of a father figure by her side but soon formed an unbreakable bond with her step grandfather.Meredith s grandfather was a bee keeper and Meredith soon grew fascinated with her grandfather s stories of bees Her grandfather used bees and the complexity of nature to help Meredith grow and thrive through her pain as a child Meredith s mother was extremely absent and emotionally abusive to her growing up as a child into a teenager.Meredith beautifully interweaves her memoir about the complexity of pain, love, growth, forgiveness, strength, and grief through nature and honeybees I was blown out of the water with the symbolism and beauty behind these pages I truly enjoyed this memoir and Meredith s story of her being saved by honeybees Powerful and uplifting 4.5 honey stars Huge thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Park Row for the arc in exchange for my honest review.Publication date 4 2 19Published to Goodreads 1 20 19 When Meredith was 5, her parents separated and she moved with her mother and brother to her maternal grandparents home Her grandfather the beekeeper introduces her to the world of honeybees It is a comforting, rural memoir and bees have great metaphor potential that the author utilizes through her Grandpa s voice Research on bees runs throughout with a somewhat sad epilogue combining her grandfather s aging with the bee crisis I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley It came out April 2, 2019.
Meredith May is the author of THE HONEY BUS HarperCollins Park Row April 2019 , and I, WHO DID NOT DIE Regan Arts 2017 She is a fifth generation beekeeper with several hives in San Francisco During her 16 year career at the San Francisco Chronicle, her writing won the PEN USA Literary Award for Journalism and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize She is a former professor of podcasting at M
- 336 pages
- The Honey Bus
- Meredith May
- 13 December 2017 Meredith May