Category Reading

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan - Bloomsbury

A novel in verse for adults.

“An adult tale of love, betrayal and loss”

John Boyne cites Sarah Crossan as “One of our most original writers.” 

I am inclined to agree with him, both for her choice of form and for her remarkable insights into human psychology transmitted through her verse.

From its key opening, referencing Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” I felt held by the flow of the narrative of Ana and Connor’s affair. 

Crossan is a mistress of transmitting ambiguity, self-delusion and human mis-communication.

The brilliant thing is that the page layout of the verse in fragmented spacing indicates these gaps between the lovers and their mutual misunderstandings. 

I found my reading flowed with the poetry of the tragedy as its mode of telling. As with Ana needing to read “Anna Karenina” twice, I feel I want to do the same with this gorgeous, clever, apparently sparse but highly humane novel in verse. 

Morag Charlwood

Shoreham Wordfest Book Review Editor. 

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