The Honey Bus – Meredith May: A Mini Review

The Honey Bus - Meredith May

Like a bee to honey, I could not stay away from this book.

The Honey Bus, Meredith May’s beguiling childhood memoir tells us the story of her tumultuous childhood and how her grandfather and his hives became a guiding force throughout her life. I’m not usually a massive fan of memoirs but May’s writing was so poetic that I found myself engrossed and enamoured by her story.

Five-year-old Meredith is painfully astute and observant to the world around her. When her parents’ marriage breaks down, Meredith and her brother Matthew are moved across the country to the Big Sur, California to live with their grandparents. As their mother falls into a deep depression and relinquishes the title of parent, Meredith turns to her Grandpa’s colony of honey bees for an understanding of what it means to be part of a family.

This book has the potential to be despairingly bleak, you can cry along as Meredith recounts some painful memories of her isolation as a child yet it remains so hopeful and heartfelt.

The Honey Bus - Meredith May

Not only is Honey Bus descriptive and emotive but also educational. – I found myself truly fascinated by the honey bees and their ecology. One of my fondest childhood memories was visiting a local apiary where I was shown the basics of bee-keeping. This book reignited that interest I had in bees all those years ago.  

Meredith May, is an award-winning journalist, a long-time reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and a fifth-generation beekeeper. Whilst her accolades are impressive, she was not someone I had heard of before picking up this book. However, this memoir has opened me up a whole genre of books that I wouldn’t usually expose myself to. It has encouraged me to seek out more non-fiction and biographies.

The Honey Bus managed to move me more than I quite know how to put into words and is potentially my favourite read of 2019!

5/5 star rating

Thank you to HQ for providing an e-ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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