Liquid Gold (Paperback)
Bees and the Pursuit of Midlife Honey
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'This delightful memoir is an inspiring account of changing direction in mid-life, and a passionate plea on behalf of the honeybee.' Daily Mail
'A light-hearted account of midlife, a yearning for adventure, the plight of bees, the quest for "liquid gold" and, above all, friendship.' Sunday Telegraph
After a chance meeting in the pub, Roger Morgan-Grenville and his friend Duncan decide to take up beekeeping. Their enthusiasm matched only by their ignorance, they are pitched into an arcane world of unexpected challenges.
Coping with many setbacks along the way, they manage to create a colony of beehives, finishing two years later with more honey than anyone knows what to do with. By standing back from their normal lives and working with the cycle of the seasons, they emerge with a new-found understanding of nature and a respect for the honeybee and the threats it faces.
Wryly humorous and surprisingly moving, Liquid Gold is the story of a friendship between two unlikely men at very different stages of their lives. It is also an uplifting account of the author's own midlife journey: coming to terms with an empty nest, getting older, looking for something new.
'A great book. Painstakingly researched, but humorous, sensitive and full of wisdom.' Chris Stewart, author of Driving Over Lemons
'Beekeeping builds from lark to revelation in this carefully observed story of midlife friendship. Filled with humour and surprising insight, Liquid Gold is as richly rewarding as its namesake. Highly recommended.' – Thor Hanson, author of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees
Beekeeping builds from lark to revelation in this carefully observed story of midlife friendship. Filled with humour and surprising insight, Liquid Gold is as richly rewarding as its namesake. Highly recommended.
A great book. Painstakingly researched, but humorous, sensitive and full of wisdom. I'm on the verge of getting some bees as a consequence of reading the book.
Liquid Gold is a book that ignites joy and warmth through a layered and honest appraisal of bee-keeping. Roger Morgan-Grenville deftly brings to the fore the fascinating life of bees but he also presents in touching and amusing anecdotes the mind-bending complexities and frustrations of getting honey from them. But like any well-told story from time immemorial, he weaves throughout a silken thread, a personal narrative that is at once self-effacing, honest and very human. In this book you will not only meet the wonder of bees but the human behind the words.
Peppered with fascinating facts about bees, Liquid Gold is a compelling and entertaining insight into the life of the beekeeper. But it's much more than that. It's the story of a life at a crossroads when a series of random events sets the author off on a different, and more satisfying, path. It's a tale of friendship and fulfilment, stings and setbacks, successes and failures and finding meaning in midlife.
Behind the self-deprecating humour, Morgan-Grenville's childlike passion for beekeeping lights up every page. His bees are a conduit to a connection with nature that lends fresh meaning to his life. His bee-keeping, meanwhile, proves both a means of escape from the grim state of the world and a positive way of doing something about it. We could probably all do with some of that.
A light-hearted account of midlife, a yearning for adventure, the plight of bees, the quest for "liquid gold" and, above all, friendship.
[A] delightfully told story … Wryly humorous with fascinating facts about bees, it charts the author's own mid-life story and the joys of making discoveries.
The reader will learn plenty about bees and beekeeping from this book, although it is about as far from a manual as possible. Liquid Gold is a well observed delve into the hobbyist's desire to find what is important in life, no matter their age or preparedness.
[A] delightful exploration of the world of bees and their honey … a hymn to the life-enhancing connection with the natural world that helped Morgan-Grenville reconcile himself to the fading of the light that is middle age.
Both humorous and emotionally affecting … Morgan-Grenville's wry and thoughtful tale demonstrates why an item many take for granted should, in fact, be regarded as liquid gold.
[A] story of friendship and … also a convincing portrait of a midlife crisis [with] some nice sly humour
This delightful memoir is an inspiring account of changing direction in mid-life, and a passionate plea on behalf of the honeybee.