Bees are the kittens of the insect world, it would take a hard-hearted person to look on the fluffy bumble bee and her chums with a malevolent eye. Life in the hive is well ordered and harmonious. That was my view, but now I’ve spent a happy few hours immersed in hive of Laline Paull’s imagination.
Flora 717 bursts out of her cell, an enormous ugly worker bee. So lowly that her kind of bee doesn’t even merit a flowers name just the general appellation of ‘Flora’. As with all good stories she is different to most of those around her. We follow her on a journey through the hive, in which it soon becomes apparent all is not well. We meet the shimmeringly beautiful Sage priestesses, the bewitching Queen and the randy boorish drones.
“Gripping” is the word that Margaret Atwood choose to describe the book (according to the cover, Margaret and I are not yet on personal terms) and she’s not wrong. Tube stops were missed, meals went uncooked and bedtime was ignored as the urge to turn the pages drowned out normal life.
Published by 4th Estate
Price £8.99 paperback or £1.99 Kindle