Have You Heard the Buzz?! The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull

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Are you looking for an ultra-imaginative dystopian tale of a matriarchal society, which violently polices any variation in preset roles and biology, yet must ultimately rely on that very capability in a brave low-caste member to save the group? Do you want it to appeal to young teens through adults? Read The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull.


Flora 717 is introduced at the moment of her birth as a sanitation worker in the hive of nearly 10,000 family members. As soon as she emerges from her cell into the Arrivals Hall, she is recognized as variant by both the fertility police, who almost immediately destroy her, and by a high-caste “priestess,” Sister Sage, who interrupts the police and escorts Flora into the hive nursery , thus beginning an experiment to see how her variation might be of use. And what amazing usefulness does Flora discover about herself! She is willing to use all her discovery and understanding for the future of her hive in brave, daring, and intelligent ways.

I have been talking about The Bees since I finished it in one day last week. I couldn't put this exciting and unusual book down, sneaking out my phone with the eBook (available in both the 3M Cloud Library and MyMediaMall) at every opportunity to keep reading. Even though I finished the eBook enthralled, I wanted to see the print book, so beautifully designed with amazing cover art, font and white space! If you prefer audiobook, we have it available as an eAudiobook in MyMediaMall or in CD audiobook. What I'm trying to say is, no matter what format you prefer, the library has it! Check our catalog.

The author, Laline Paull, is a playwright and screenwriter, now a novelist. Her story behind writing this book is also utterly compelling:

Whenever I am so taken by my reading, I want to know more and understand more, either about the author or the subject. In one interview, Laline Paull mentions that during the writing of the novel, she would bake bread and listen The Goldberg Variations as a mind-freeing inspiration to bring more ideas to the story. You can find the music in Freegal and can start streaming now!


Her wild imagination is not the only thing that is fascinating about the writing of the novel, however. She also did much research about bees and their world, which prompted her to write the book in the first place, as she says, “The truth is stranger than fiction.” After you read the novel, you may want to know more, too, and will find that the DVD documentary “More than Honey” will offer great answers to your curiosity. Check our catalog.









Susie Pasini is Digital Services Librarian at Cook Memorial Public Library District. She reads, watches, and listens across all genres and all formats (print and digital). Often she goes on content binges, the latest being listening and watching old Devo recordings and performances and reading African-born authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (Americanah; Half of a Yellow Sun),  Okey Ndibe (Foreign Gods, Inc. ), and Kwei Quartey (Murder at Cape Three Points). Libraries are her personal passion and professional privilege.