The Bees. I went in without much knowledge of this book, just the fact that it was literally about bees – which I love as some of my favourites books (One for Sorrow, Firebringer ) are animal led.
At the beginning we have the birth of our protagonist – Flora. I felt claustrophobic in those first few chapters, the description of her cell, being moved over the small corridors of the hive and her duties. But once we go through the that the story moves in a series of plot happenings, each one leaving Flora with a heightened state of her. As she learns, we learn and we see her life and her journey exactly as she sees it.
The characters we encounter are well written and individually identifiable – the wasps, the spiders, the Sage, The Queen, The Thistle – all 3D and introduced well.
This book is quite a violent one as it is political, it deals with it in a raw and honest way- it is nature after all.
What I loved about this book was it’s sheer brilliance in making you feel like you worked really hard to get to the end, as did Flora. The writing style/structure is a metaphor for Flora’s life. You begin as she begins her life, you work really hard, as she did around her hive, foraging and in sanitation, once things start going well (i.e new queen and new hive) we realise as readers we only have a few pages left, and then once this bitter sweet realisation sets in, we finish the last page and rest, as our Flora rests. Whether or not this was the intention, I truly believe this book is one not to be missed- a one of a kind reading experience.
Published by Emma Lemin