What genre does the book belong to?

Laline Paull’s debut novel is quite difficult to define, to label.  It is a thrilling adventure reminding the bleak atmospheres of dystopian novels and the bitterness of the Orwellian fable, Animal Farm.

What’s the setting of the novel?

This novel has no specific setting in time and a unique, unuasual setting in place: a beehive.

Can you briefly sum up the plot without giving away too much?

Well, I'll try to tell you the least that I can:  Flora 717, born into the lowest class of her society, is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. She survives internal massacres, religious purges and terrifying invasions by vicious wasps. With each act of bravery her status grows, revealing both the enemies within and the sinister secrets that rule the hive.

What’s the moral of the book?

The strength of maternal love can turn an ordinary obedient female into an extraordinary  heroine.

Any favourite quote?

Then kindly recall that variation is not the same as deformity.”

Could you define the book with 3 adjectives?

Unusual, cunning, sensual. 

And I'd add ...a singular reading experience, intelligently crafted, a feast of sensations – perfumes, tastes, colours.

What did you particularly like of the author’s style or  narrative technique?

I adires how she manages the light, poetical touches and other completely different elements – the rigid lifetime caste system or the lurid scenes of slaughter. How she blends purely human assumptions about totalitarian states and gender psychology with well researched insect life.  

What can you tell us about the author? 

Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, writing in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children. The Bees is her debut novel but she has written plays and screenplays and plans to do so again, in fact she says she is working on the theatrical adaptation of The Bees. 

How did you get your copy?

It was a gift from a very good friend who loves reading and sharing good books. 

How would you recommend it on twitter?

I'd use the official promotion from the publishers, which I find perfect: "The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the Queen may breed and deformity means death".

Check it out at amazon.combookdepository or waterstones

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