Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Bees by Laline Paull

genre: fiction

Born as a sanitation worker, the lowest of bees, Flora 717 knows exactly what she must do: accept, obey and serve.  But knowing it and doing it are two different things when she begins to stretch outside of her caste.  Gifted with unusual abilities and a fierce love for the queen, Flora 717, the choices she makes and the miraculous things that happen to her, will ultimately determine the future of her hive. 

IT ACTUALLY IS A BOOK ABOUT BEES. The bees are the characters.  They have names and roles to play, they feel and the make decisions.  Their world is a lush drama of scents and textures and it is amazing to behold.  I was so hesitant to try this but in some ways, it blew my mind, the majesty and the complexity of hive life.  It's sensual and vast with an actual plot that moves a long, with villains and enemies, friends and a wide world full of pollen and color.  This is not going to be a book that every can get into - there is an excessive amount of discussion about what various bees look like and it's strange, at first, to be told about your character's thoraxes moving or their antennae reaching out.  But slowly, I started to really feel deeply about Flora 717 and what happened to her, which makes me think that this author really did do something right.

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