The Honey Bus
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Published: 4/2/2019
When Paul Simon sang that “every generation throws a hero up the pop charts,” he could just as easily have been talking about memoirs. From The Liar’s Club to Angela’s Ashes to The Glass Castle, and from there to 2018’s Educated, every generation has been rocked by the recollections of those who were dealt a rotten hand in the parental poker game. And readers don’t even need to be in that club to appreciate the genre: the grateful relief of thinking…

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 in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

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May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

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The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.

Meredith May Biography
Meredith May is an award-winning journalist and fifth-generation beekeeper. Her memoir, THE HONEY BUS, reveals the life lessons she learned in her grandfather’s Big Sur bee yard that rescued her from a difficult childhood. Published April 2019 by HarperCollins/Park Row, the book will be translated into eleven languages. Her 2017 book: I, WHO DID NOT DIE, tells the true story of an Iranian child soldier who risked his life to save an enemy during the Iran-Iraq War – an astonishing act of bravery and kindness that changed the course of both their lives.

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During her sixteen-year career at the San Francisco Chronicle, her reporting garnered the PEN USA Literary Award for Journalism, the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, and first place feature writing awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press. Her series about an Iraqi boy wounded during the second Gulf War was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. Meredith is a former professor of journalism and podcasting at Mills College in Oakland, CA. She lives in San Francisco, where she rows on the Bay and cares for several beehives in a community garden.

Review
“Filled with hope, grace, beauty, and wisdom, this book is like warm honey in the sunshine. It beautifully illustrates how nature - even honeybees - can teach and heal us, if only we open our minds and hearts. It's the kind of book that stays with you long after you've finished it—a rare treasure—and you don't have to be a bee lover to be deeply moved by May’s wonderful story. I'm recommending it to everyone I know." —Stacey O’Brien, New York Times bestselling author of Wesley the Owl

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