From the author of Above Us Only Sky and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, a touching new novel set in the 1960s about the power of friendship, love, and accepting your past in order to find a future.
A young teenage girl, Gloria, begins this novel by being brought into a mental institution in the 60s that was designed specially for gay teenagers. She is our main character, a clever, loving, delicate and pleasant girl at the time, who happens to be a lesbian. From there she befriends a boy, Sheff, and their friendship evolved, taking a huge role in her life.
Lost in the Beehive was nothing like what I expected it to be. Published by Simon Schuster, it was no wonder that the cover is so beautiful. Secondly, I love the story even from the beginning. Gloria is a wonderful character, and an amazing woman. I feel like I am very similar to her in a lot of ways – not in the fact that I am a lesbian, but in smaller things like how Gloria wants to make the people she loves happy, and as a result does not think more about her own happiness but what other people define a woman’s happiness is. Though her actions might not show those of a heroic protagonist in a fantasy story, Gloria is a more reserved, quiet, and human type of protagonist; nonetheless I think she is a wonderful main character.
Title: Lost in the Beehive
Author: Michele Young-Stone
Genres: Literary fiction, LGBT, historical fiction, magical realism
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Page number: 320 pgs
Expected publication: April 10th, 2018
The themes discussed in the book are just admirably well written. The main character is a lesbian who when she was young was forced to think “just like everyone else”, to “be normal”, and there were times when Gloria thought that maybe she was the one who is abnormal, and that she should not be the way she is and conform to the norms her society has told her to.
However the topic of death was also handled beautifully in this book. Of course everyone deals with loss of a loved one differently, and in this novel, it was unique and well thought of. In the end my favourite subject that the author focused on, that I enjoyed the most in here was when Gloria was older, and she just tried her best to be happy with how normal people define it as. But in the end she needs to realise, and the readers alongside her, that happiness is different for everyone else, and you can never force yourself to be happy the way other people might think you’d be happy.
The main message I took from the book was that if ultimately in your heart you know that you will never be happy that way, you can never force yourself to be like everyone else. And it was a deeply moving message that I adored from Gloria’s story and captivated me so much that I was lost in the words of the book.
The plot of this story was also something I highly enjoyed from this book. The writing’s pacing was never too slow or too fast. For me it’s a great combination of exciting, great character building, and wonderful description of atmosphere, setting, and situation. The characters all felt human and very well rounded, and no one seemed too evil or too perfect. The events that take place, though some slightly bizarre, was not too out of the box bizarre that might freak me out. It has just the right amount of action, conversation, slow and touching moments, and magical realism.
The bee element throughout the story was a wonderful addition that makes the book more special. I love how the story starts and ends with this small element that is tiny but makes a huge impact in the character’s life.
Overall this book was profoundly touching, and the main character, though some people might not like her or might think she’s slightly bland and boring, for me was wonderful to read about. The relationships she made along her life were all interesting to read about, and in the end the story was beautifully written and evoked many emotions from me. It never failed to bore me, and I literally never want to put the book down.
With a captivating story, enchanting characters and unique themes that were discussed in the book, I couldn’t help but give it a full 5 stars. This book will be published in 10th of April of this year, and I highly recommend you to pick it up when it comes out if you think it’s of your interest.
Huge thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.