With a voice that is at once as innocent as a young child’s should be and yet as preternaturally mature as children from dysfunctional homes often have to be in order to survive, Meredith May invites us into the inexplicable yet strangely hopeful world of her California childhood in this moving memoir ... While May answers some of [her] questions—she finds a way to explain her mother’s narcissistic personality, for instance—much remains a mystery. To May’s credit, she doesn’t try to tie up all the loose ends but is determined, rather, to tell the story as it happened. It’s satisfying to let this book be her 'bee dance,' in which she tells the tale of where she’s been and what she’s seen to us, her human hive.
... [a] sharply visceral memoir ... Readers will likely overlook any concerns about the veracity of her child memory, however, as they are caught up in the harrowing experiences she shares and the tenderness of exchanges with her brother, father, and grandfather.
A moving memoir ... May also weaves into the narrative intriguing facts about the social lives and roles of honeybees, and she describes with affection the details of the process of producing honey and the role the beekeeper plays in the lives of bees. While her subject may be honeybees, they serve as a launching point for a tale of self-discovery and the natural world at large. A fascinating and hopeful book of family, bees, and how 'even when [children] are overwhelmed with despair, nature has special ways to keep them safe.'