The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

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...

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Title:The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees
Author:Meredith May
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees Reviews

  • Kendall

    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 re

    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: 4/2/19

    Published to Goodreads: 1/20/19

  • Missy Block

    A beautifully written memoir about Meredith, a child that not only learns to survive a dysfunctional mother, but learns thru the eloquent life of bees and the wisdom of her beekeeping grandfather how to navigate beyond the circumstances she was given. I fell into this book on page one and connected so deeply to Meredith and her Grandpa, that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew where their journey led them. While their personal story captured my heart, the plight of the honey bees gripped m

    A beautifully written memoir about Meredith, a child that not only learns to survive a dysfunctional mother, but learns thru the eloquent life of bees and the wisdom of her beekeeping grandfather how to navigate beyond the circumstances she was given. I fell into this book on page one and connected so deeply to Meredith and her Grandpa, that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew where their journey led them. While their personal story captured my heart, the plight of the honey bees gripped my curiosity to the point I needed to re read some of the informational parts to wrap my brain around it all.

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    Thank you to HARLEQUIN-Trade Publishing-Park Row for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

    This is a wonderful book about a girl growing up in the seventies amidst family upheaval and discord. As the book begins, Meredith and her little brother Matt are living in Rhode Island with their parents. The tension between the parents is so thick you can cut it with a knife. However, it is the simmering violent anger from the mother that is particularly unsettling. Following a final explosive a

    Thank you to HARLEQUIN-Trade Publishing-Park Row for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

    This is a wonderful book about a girl growing up in the seventies amidst family upheaval and discord. As the book begins, Meredith and her little brother Matt are living in Rhode Island with their parents. The tension between the parents is so thick you can cut it with a knife. However, it is the simmering violent anger from the mother that is particularly unsettling. Following a final explosive argument, the Mom packs up the kids and they board an airplane to California where their grandparents live in Big Sur. Mom Sally arrives at her parents' house, once again taking over her childhood bedroom. As the weeks, months and years go by, Sally retreats into her bedroom where she sleeps, smokes and lets her mom (Granny) and stepdad (Grandpa) tend to her kids- shirking all responsibility.

    Granny is a schoolteacher and a little more stiff and formal when rearing her grandkids. However, Grandpa is another story. When Meredith is faced with the unhealthy and odd behavior of her unfit mother, she is literally saved by the loving, wise and gentle nature of her Grandpa. While Meredith is mentally (and occasionally physically) abused by her mother Sally, she finds comfort and ease in the presence of Grandpa. Everything makes sense around Grandpa, and Meredith can just...be.

    Meredith's grandparents live in a little red house, but nearby on the property there is an old military bus. Inside, Grandpa has painstakingly rigged it as a honey bottling operation. Little by little, Grandpa tells Meredith all about the working of the bee hives he maintains here on the property and others miles away in Garrapata Canyon. The very sensible and cooperative work environment of the bees are a marvel to observe, and Meredith is totally enchanted by them. Where Meredith finds chaos with her mother, she finds peace and a system of perfect sense in the life cycle of the bees.

    Over time Meredith (and later, her little brother Matt) became adept helpers to Grandpa with his beehives, as he manned a lucrative business providing honey to regular customers. There were a few truly horrific passages of abusive behavior on the rare occasions mom Sally attempted to take the kids on outings, and they were only for selfish motives. There were also frustrating reactions from Sally's mother who seemed to only placate her daughter in an attempt to make her calm. In the end, it was the grounded and quiet wisdom of Meredith's Grandpa who counseled her just to appease her mother until she was old enough to make her own life.

    I learned so much about bees reading this book, and I am truly amazed at their clever and logical working environment. I was so intrigued by what I'd learned that it inspired me to watch YouTube videos about bees! Yes, in the end Meredith was truly saved by her Grandpa, the honey bus and bees. This is a true story, a heartfelt memoir which made it ever more special to read.

  • Mike Sumner

    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

    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

    and a host of newer diseases such as

    and the

    Meredith does her small part - she owes her Grandpa at least that much to continue his work - and she owes it to the bees...

    The 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 lost...

    The highest possible recommendation from me. I urge you to read

    My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  • Sally Boocock

    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.

  • Michael Cayley

    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

    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.

  • Kimberly Dawn

    “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 viole

    “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.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    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.

    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.

  • Barb

    My son is a beekeeper. I was drawn to this book from the cover and the description. Yes, I learned a lot about bees that I didn't know before. But this isn't just a book about bees. The author's reveals her early life when her parents split and she was dragged by her mother across the country to live with her grandparents. The book has been compared to Glass Castles, and yes, I can see the resemblance but I found this book to be more redemptive. The author's relationship with her mother is somet

    My son is a beekeeper. I was drawn to this book from the cover and the description. Yes, I learned a lot about bees that I didn't know before. But this isn't just a book about bees. The author's reveals her early life when her parents split and she was dragged by her mother across the country to live with her grandparents. The book has been compared to Glass Castles, and yes, I can see the resemblance but I found this book to be more redemptive. The author's relationship with her mother is something we often pretend isn't possible, but her relationship with her grandfather is something we all hope to find.

    This book is a fast read, and is highly recommended.

  • Linden

    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.

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