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 “there but for the grace of God go I” is as visceral as thinking “me too.” For too many of these memoirists, salvation lay on the far shore of adulthood. What sets The Honey Bus apart from the rest of the genre then, is that it is simultaneously a story of survival and salvation. Meredith May’s father abandoned her, her little brother, and their mother fairly early on, and her mother retreated into a fug of mental illness, rage, and despair. Taken into the care of her maternal grandparents Meredith forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather, who taught her about community, loyalty, and survival by way of his favorite pastime, making honey in a rusty old military bus parked in the yard of their Big Sur home. This touching memoir celebrates family, the lessons we can learn from nature, a marvelous little insect, and those heroic grandparents who, even when things fall apart, ensure the center can hold. –Vannessa Cronin Read more