Loot from Another Book Sale

On Sunday, intending originally to go to an exhibition at Singapore Expo, I ended up at another Book Sale by MPH.

The thing about MPH book sales is that they don't exactly advertise them widely, so I tend to get there rather late. This time was no exception. By the time I walked about half the hall (filled with books of all sorts), it was nearly time for them to close the hall for the day.

Well, I still got a pretty good lot of books, one of which was fiction (surprise!). It was titled The Bees by Laline Paull. The reason I got interested in this novel was the fact that it was scientifically accurate. The author had obviously put in a good deal of time and effort to get her story lined up with science. That, coupled with her engaging writing style, got me binge-reading it. I finished it in less than 24 hours and I was pretty impressed by it.

Without spoiling the story, the setting is in a hive - a bee hive, obviously - and the characters are mainly bees, as well as other creatures like wasps, spiders and the like. The main character was a bee called Flora 717 and she (all worker bees are female) had quite a life due to her unusual nature.

The hive was run much like a totalitarian regime, with police and priestesses. The story explores societal classes, fanaticism and prejudice, as well as kindness, courage and community. Perhaps the insect world is not so different from ours after all.