November 8, 2019

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

This is the first in a series of book reviews in the Oxford Observer being produced in cooperation with the staff at the Oxford Lane Library.

Each review will be written by a librarian or staffer, giving you some insight into one of their favorite books. We plan to feature a wide range of genres, from non-fiction, fiction, children’s, even cooking. We want to encourage our readers to read even more.

Our first book review, written by librarian Sarah Gifford, is about “The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees,” written by Meredith May. It is May’s autobiography which recalls how honeybees had an impact on her life. For her, the bees became an inspiration for love, family, and survival.

Rated a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon and a 4.3 on Goodreads, this book, published in March of 2019, has been a hit among nonfiction lovers. Available both online and in stores, you can also pick up this book (and every book reviewed) at the Lane Library, 441 S. Locust St., Oxford.

Here is Gifford’s review:

by Sarah Gifford

Confession time from a librarian: I’ve never been a big fan of memoirs. Right or wrong, I’ve found them to be written by people who have remarkable experiences to share, but lack the writing skills to hold my interest. Or, they are written by “famous” people with a less than intriguing “tell-all” tale.

It was the bees that drew me to this title. How could bees save a girl, especially in a time when we need to save them? So, I thought, okay I’ll bite and check it out.

But it was May’s writing that hooked me from the prologue’s first paragraph. Honestly, in today’s society, May’s experiences are not uncommon: divorced parents, a mom who suffers from mental illness and grandparents who then raise the children.

Even still, May is a talented writer with insight. She is able to weave facts about bees into metaphors that shape this coming-of-age story.

Naturalists will love the insight into the complex system of the bees and their hives. Lovers of fiction will take to her craftily told story (and learn a thing or two about bees!).