The Bees: A Novel

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Harper Collins, May 6, 2014 - Fiction - 352 pages

Born into the lowest class of an ancient hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an Untouchable, whose labour is at her ancient orchard hive's command. As part of the collective, she is taught to accept, obey and serve. Altruism is the highest virtue, and worship of her beloved Queen, the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden and all thoughts belong to the Hive Mind.

But Flora is not like other bees. Her curiosity is a dangerous flaw, especially once she is exposed to the mysteries of the Queen's Library. But her courage and strength are assets, and Flora finds herself promoted up the social echelons. From sanitation to feeding the newborns in the royal nursery to becoming an elite forager, Flora revels in service to her hive.

When Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses who are jealously wed to power. Her deepest instinct to serve and sacrifice is now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart and her society, and lead her to commit unthinkable deeds . . .

 

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THE BEES

User Review  - Kirkus

An imaginative—though not wholly successful—debut in which a beehive is a dystopian society where obedience is essential.Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, the lowest order of bee, mute and hulking ... Read full review

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A well done and nicely told story with good character development.

Contents

Prologue
Nine
Thirteen
Seventeen
TwentyOne
TwentyFive
TwentyEight
ThirtyTwo
ThirtySix
Forty
Epilogue
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.

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