This is a wonderfully clever book. The story is about bees from the point of view of bees, one particular bee, Flora 717. Through her we learn all about the regimented world of the hive with it’s strict rules and inflexible hierarchy. We learn about how bees work and learn and communicate. It’s so well written, you really get lost in their world where, although some bees can speak, instinct and knowledge stored in the structure of the hive are just as important.
I admired this work greatly, but a found it’s alieness a slight downside. It’s so different from the human experience that I couldn’t really relate to it. Certain themes are very popular in novels as they are things most of us understand, our hopes, fears etc, themes like love, crime, family life, horror. None of these were really there for me so I didn’t find it hugely exciting, at times it felt more like reading poetry rather than a novel. I could appreciate that it was very good, but at no stage did it have me gripped.