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 any deformity means death—in which a devout young worker bee finds
herself in possession of a deadly secret and becomes a hunted criminal whose
decisions will mean life and death for her entire hive.
Born into the lowest class of her rigid, hierarchical
society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an untouchable fit only to clean and
remove the bodies of the dead from her orchard hive. As part of the collective,
she is taught to accept, obey, serve—work and sacrifice are the highest
virtues 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—a difference that holds
profound consequences. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her
curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an
asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to
become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her
way into the queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the
hive that are both profound and ominous.
But 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
jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are 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 will lead her to
Part parable, part coming-of-age story, part pure
page-turner, Laline Paull’s chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a
luminous world that is simultaneously foreign and utterly familiar. Thrilling
and imaginative, The Bees is the
story of a strong-willed heroine who, in the face of an increasingly desperate
struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world. Download and start listening now!