“Here is the Beehive” by Sarah Crossan

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Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Usually, before I write up my review I have noted down my thoughts and rating and have a quick eyeball of other reviews to see if anyone else is on the same page. Having seen a huge list of 5-star reviews and nothing else I think it is safe to say I may have missed something here.

This book is written in verse which makes for a rather interesting reading experience. Even for those unfamiliar with this form of writing, it flows well and fits the narrative well. Ana has been having an affair with Connor for three years until he suddenly dies. She is left to deal with her grief alone as no one knew about the affair. When Connor’s wife Rebecca phones to make arrangements, Ana is forced to confront her grief and look back on the affair.

I feel like I have read so many books lately along this vein where a man dies, and his secret life is exposed. Maybe it’s just coincidence or sign of a weirdly specific literary trope. This is also one of these books about horrible, selfish people who are just shitty people in almost every way. Ana is awful, Connor was awful, Rebecca is mostly ok. I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to feel sorry for Ana, but I most certainly didn’t, and I feel this impacted how invested I was in her story. If this book had been any longer I am not sure I would have finished it because I find these books about terrible people really emotionally draining.

I did like how things about Ana’s life slowly unfolded as the book progressed. I made assumptions about her that turned out to be incorrect and it helped keep my attention despite everything else.

It feels very worthy and I’m sure it will receive tons of accolades, but it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable reading experience for me personally.

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