Ever stood in the school playground and looked around and seen all the different groups of people … some you avoid like the plague , some you chat away to , some you just nod at with a friendly but wary hello and others who believe themselves to be the elite of the elite and look down on you like a tiny speck of disgusting dust on their otherwise pristeen life ( seemingly ) ! This is a scene played out in school playgrounds across the nation daily … and Gill Hornby has captured this phenomenon perfectly in “The Hive” .
I found this book eerily reminiscent of my school ground experience .. and I’ve been standing in primary school playgrounds for the last 10 years with another 4 years to go …. !!! The characters were bought to life brilliantly with the reader being able to identify themselves amongst this group of diverse individuals … I’m a bit of a Georgie / Heather/ Rachel I reckon … headstrong & nonchalant, yet affable … and sometimes just wanting to fit in !!
The characters of Bea & Melissa were cleverly worked around each others so the reader could see the outcome but not quite understand how it was going to happen . Yet , the strikingly familiar routine of the bee’s picking their new queen was played out fantastically … and we could all see the circle of life within the bee community and within Bea’s community !!
All in all a very well written book , with perhaps a few disjointed moments which left the reader wondering where that chunk of school life had gone … not that different to the twists and turns of life to be fair !!! I often wonder where that chunk of time disappeared to … but in the main a thoroughly enjoyable read and a novel any school mum should get stuck into !!
Better run … I have a summer fete to organise ………………