Written by Maja Lunde

Number 1 in Klimakvartetten

Publisher: Aschehoug
Pages: 458
Genre: Norwegian, Historical
Published: 2015-07-30
Original Language: Norwegian

William er en melankolsk biolog og frøhandler i England i 1852. Han setter seg fore å bygge en helt ny type bikube som skal gi både ham selv og hans barn ære og berømmelse. George er birøkter i USA i 2007 og kjemper i motbakke, men han håper sønnen kan bli gårdens redning. Tao arbeider med håndpollinering i et fremtidig Kina hvor biene har forsvunnet. Hun ønsker mer enn noe annet at sønnen skal få en utdannelse og et bedre liv enn henne selv. "Bienes historie" skildrer menneskenes første spede forsøk på å holde bier, via dagens industrielle landbruk og til en fremtid hvor biene er døde. I bunnen ligger tre sterke historier om relasjoner mellom foreldre og barn, og om menneskenes sårbarhet.

Read from 2023-08-26 to 2023-09-07
Read in Norwegian
Rating: 4.5/5
Review: Bienes Historie is the kind of book that slowly drags you in, and, before you know it, it’s gone from being a casual, entertaining, story to a plot where you need to know what’s happening next.

The book feels like it’s describing what is happening in everyday life. We’re not set up to witness something extraordinary, we’re just following along with the lives of the three characters this book jumps between: one from the past, one in the present, and one in the future.

A theme emerges in the three stories (I don’t think it would be spoiling too much to reveal that the overall theme is “Bees”), and suddenly, you’re witnessing three very different kinds of drama.

I had expected this book to be quite different. I remember talk from when it came out of it being an education in how the lives of bees work, and an informative book on the whole issue of bees disappearing. I did get those things, from the book, but they felt like they were part of the story, rather than being the driving force. Yes, there is an important message underpinning what’s going on in this book, but it very much reads as a story that’s built on the premise of those facts rather than a book that’s trying to convince you of them.

The stories feel human and real. There’s subtle emotion, and words left unsaid in a way that leaves a nice, ambiguous, tension in scenes that might otherwise have felt a little too theatrical. The characters also feel complicated and interesting.

Bienes Historie is a very good book. It’s not fast-paced, generally not very dramatic, and won’t keep you on the edge of your seat. But it will make you want to read on to see what happens with the characters, and it will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, it’s the first in a series of four!