‘The Bees’: Intriguing novel delivers a sting

‘There I was on my back porch, reading Laline Paull’s intriguing debut novel, The Bees, when I heard, then saw, a bee – the first I’ve spotted this spring.The bee – a forager, I assume, out to gather pollen — showed no interest in me or the book, which is not surprising. But by then, I was deep into the novel, where the characters are bees and the plot is built on their rigid and complex social structure.Paull, a British playwright who was inspired by the death of a friend, a beekeeper, can be playful at times. But this is a serious novel with no Disney or Pixar-like cuteness. She pictures an often violent world with political and religious overtones.Its heroine is a worker bee named Flora 717 whose number is never explicitly explained. She begins life at the lowest rung of the hive, assigned to sanitation work, cleaning the morgue.

via ‘The Bees’: Intriguing novel delivers a sting.

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