I was drawn to this book's exquisite cover and bought it on the basis of this alone. So I was a bit concerned when it started off slow and left me wondering initially where it was going. But Juchau pulled it all together.
At the heart of the story is a deal that involves the adults in either a compromise of decency; trying to uphold impossible terms or dealing with the fallout of refusing to submit.
At its heart is greed & manipulation. This is where the story becomes a metaphor for our treatment or mistreatment of our natural resources.
The wild bees represent not only the moral compass of the story but also the earth's and our inherent resilience and the storm is a reminder of change and its impact. I could keep going.
It is not the best I've ever read, but it is one of the more original books I've read with its use of life in a commune and its disintegration as both the setting and the metaphor in its exploration of these issues.