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The Hive by Gill Hornby

The Hive

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Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2013.

The Hive is an irresistible, brilliantly observed novel - warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, it is also a fascinating and subtle story about group politics and female friendship. From the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of the Lunch Ladder, to the military operation that is the Car Boot Sale, via the dos and don'ts of dressing your child as a dalek, all human life is here.

If you like Gill Hornby you might also like to read books by Kerry Fisher.


The Hive by Gill Hornby

Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2013.

Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that's just the mothers. It's the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power...and how to get invited to lunch. Beatrice - undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fund-raising, this year, last year and, surely, for many years to come. Heather - desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate just to belong. Georgie - desperate for a fag. And Rachel - watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover that the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one.


'An acute, funny and sometimes scary comedy of manners ... the literary debut of the year' The Times

'Clever and witty ... through the minutiae of school-gate politics, Hornby skewers human nature with the sharpness of a parliamentary sketch writer ... Anyone who has ever found themselves picked last for games or not invited for lunch will shudder with recognition ... subtle and insightful' Sunday Times

'Genuinely charming' Guardian

'Uproariously funny ... There's jealousy, despair, hope, fury, smugness and disappointment all crammed exhilaratingly together ... [and] a beautifully constrained love interest' -- Angela Huth Spectator

'The jokes are funny, the sad bits are sad and the tone strikes just the right mix of satire and affection. The result is a rich slice of literary entertainment' Daily Mail

'With a wicked eye and a giant heart, Gill Hornby weaves a lively and hilarious tale that's pure fun. If you loved BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY ... THE HIVE is the book for you' Maria Semple, Author of WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?

About the Author

Gill Hornby is a writer and journalist. She lives with her husband, Robert Harris, and their four children in Kintbury, Berkshire. The Hive is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd May 2013


Gill Hornby

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Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group




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