Nominated by:

Katona József Library of Bács-Kiskun County, Kecskemét, Hungary

Publisher of nominated edition:

Touchstone, USA

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde      

‘Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey’ (Elle), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this ‘spectacular and deeply moving’ (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author) novel 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 ‘the past, the present, and a terrifying future in a riveting story as complex as a honeycomb’ (New York Times bestselling author Bryn Greenwood) that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.

About the Author

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.

Librarian’s comments:

This powerful novel is about bee-keepers in three different countries and three time periods: past, present and the dystopian future where the bees have died. The presented strong family connections, the attitude to knowledge and mostly to nature in a world where the climate is changing and humanity is in extreme danger, make us consider this topical issue. Climate fiction set in three different time periods, 1852, 2007 and 2098, which, even though it is about the disappearance of bees, manages to hold your intense interest the whole way through, mainly with the wonderful depiction of human relationships.




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