Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan – Book review

Now that the evenings are darker earlier and cosy nights in are looking very appealing, Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan is a gem of a book for you to devour in one sitting. It’s (probably) unlike anything you will have read recently.

From its poetic prose structure to its unique theme: Ana is dealing with the after-effects of her lover, Connor, suddenly dying. The thing is, she was having an affair with him so is cut out of any formal mourning and has to hide her grief from her own husband and family too.

Opening sentence:

The only way

out

now

is to stay busy,

so I have borrowed

Anna Karenina

from my mother and will not

allow myself to cry

until I have read it.

Twice.

A different, immersive read

The opening sentence above is written as the structure appears in the book, giving you an indication of its direction. And if you’re reading that and thinking it’s not for you, honestly trust me, it works so well.

The exquisite writing style of Here is the Beehive lends itself to this poetic structure and draws you completely into the story. It’s one of the best poetic novels I’ve read (Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo is another great example that springs to mind).

A study of grief

Ana is a solicitor who meets Connor when he comes to the firm with business. They form a friendship that leads to an affair and as the firm crafted Connor’s will, it is a call from Connor’s wife to let them know he has died that shatters Ana’s world.

Obviously Here is the Beehive isn’t a warm and cosy read in terms of its theme as it is all about grief, but honestly, it’s such a refreshing take on this theme. Ana turns to the only person she feels can relate to her circumstances, Connor’s wife…

I was just so taken on the journey that this novel went on. You might not like some of Ana’s decisions but she backs up what she does. She is, ultimately, a woman in love. Whether that was fully reciprocated she will now never know. This is what’s so wonderfully explored here.

Here is the Beehive is Irish author Sarah Crossan’s first adult book, having written YA books before this. I loved everything about this so definitely intrigued to try her YA.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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