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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > April 2018 > The swarm

The swarm

Harriet Alida Lye employs foreshadowing and large dollops of symbolism in a quirky psychological thriller


The Honey Farm

Harriet Alida Lye

Vagrant Press

HARRIET ALIDA LYE’S debut novel begins with a swarm of bees. More specifically, it begins with a one-word command: “Listen.” This is appropriate, because over the course of The Honey Farm’s propulsive, occasionally frustrating narrative, the ubiquitous bees that form a kind of leitmotif in the story are repeatedly delineated according to the sounds they make. In one instance, the bees emit a “dull buzz [that] turns into a vacuuming roar”; elsewhere their noise is likened to “the morning call of a muezzin” and “a storm on the horizon.”

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