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[Review] The Bees by Laline Paull

The Bees by Laline Paul, background is a yellow hexagonal honeycomb

This is a very different kind of book. Funny, enjoyable and entertaining, it is a combination of Disney, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, science fiction and Attenborough’s ‘Life on Earth’ and is creatively imagined.

Although biologically correct and informative, the blur between the life of real bees and the hive of Flora 717 is hard to accept until one gets drawn in by the main character, Flora 717, who is very kind, determined and attractive and one feels compelled to follow her journey.

The plot includes tender and loving sequences as well as the brutal rejection of being different, idolatry of the Queen Bee, the outrageous sexual behaviour of the drones and the violence in ensuring that the survival of the hive is supreme.

The book is beautifully descriptive and captures the relationships between bees and flowers poetically.

Recommendation: An enjoyable and very different choice for a book group. One will never look at a bee in the same way again!

This review is by The Borrowers Book group at Kesgrave Library.