The History of Bees

A Novel

The History of Bees

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey.” —Elle

“[The History of Bees has] been likened to Emily St. John Mandel’s 2014 sci-fi novel Station Eleven, with good reason.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501161377 | 
  • August 2017
List Price $26.00
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The History of Bees includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Maja Lunde. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

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 diff see more

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Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Something to Read About

Welcome to Something to Read About—the Off the Shelf book club! The only thing we like better than reading great books is sharing them with our book-loving friends and talking about them, perhaps with a glass of rosé in hand. We’ve hand-picked 14...

About the Author

Maja Lunde
Photograph by Oda Berby

Maja Lunde

Maja Lunde is a Norwegian author and screenwriter. Lunde has written ten books for children and young adults. She has also written scripts for Norwegian television, including for the children’s series Barnas supershow (“The Children’s Super Show”), the drama series Hjem (“Home”) and the comedy series Side om Side (“Side by Side”). The History of Bees is her first novel for adults. She lives with her husband and three children in Oslo.

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