I know everyone will be reviewing this book considering it’s one of the biggest releases this year. However, I want to share my experience of Craig Silvey’s new work anyway since talking about books is one of the things I love to do. I don’t want to spoil this book for you, so I’m going to give little detail about the themes and plot.
Honeybee is another beautiful, painful and frank coming of age book by Craig Silvey. As he did in Jasper Jones, Silvey doesn’t shy away from the issues confronting adolescents as they attempt to navigate a prescriptive world. Issues that we, as adults, might all like to pretend don’t exist for the young people in our lives. Yet, despite the confronting moments in this book it is nothing short of exquisite from the first word to the last.
When I started reading Honeybee, I instantly felt that all my own efforts as a writer were pointless, clumsy and doomed. Silvey’s ability to create characters that are vulnerable and strong, innocent and worldly is masterful. Sam, or Honeybee, is no exception. Silvey draws us through a harsh and painful world and the disparity between Sam’s naivety and our understanding makes it all the more the bleak. As Sam narrates the events of his life, it’s hard not to want to talk to him. To impart the wisdom to him that he needs to find for himself.
Despite the dark places Silvey takes us, this is a book full of love, hope and tenderness. It shows love and friendship as the heart of the human experience. This is an immersive book that you will read quickly, perhaps even in a single sitting and the experience will be all the more compelling for it.