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The Reading Jackalope

The Bees: A Novel

The Bees: A Novel - Laline Paull I really enjoyed this, and it proves the point that you can make anything sympathetic if you find the common ground and then anthropomorphize the hell out of it. I did like the look into the lives of bees, from The Cluster during winter to the various tasks that each bee takes. I have a minor quibble. What made our heroine so special? Why, out of all the bees, does she travel so easily between the different castes and various tasks the way no other bee did?

Also the pages and pages of the motherly love, and how divine and all consuming it is, got really old near the end. We got it from both the worshipful bees who bask in the Queen's love and from Flora as she discovers her that which makes her most fulfilled. And I thought it was interesting from the bees, and helped to add to the alien element of the story. However from Flora it became just another screed that says being a mother is the most fulfilling and best thing a female can do. It's not quite enough to take it down to three stars, because everything else was fascinating, but maybe three and a half stars.