Thank you so much to Turner Publishing and Melissa Scholes Young for the copy of The Hive for review!
Melissa Scholes Young’s The Hive is a story about secrets, family, and bugs told through the perspective of five women. Set in small-town Missouri, it revolves around the Fehler family and their exterminating business, which permeates every conversation the family has. The four Fehler daughters assume they will take over when the time comes. However, when their father Robbie dies suddenly, his wife and daughters are shocked to find that the company has instead been left to a distant, male cousin rather than hand it over to his wife and daughters. From this crisis moment, other threads within the family start to unravel: mom Grace, a doomsday prepper, has been having an affair, the four sisters have hurts between them that go back years, and their small town is divided over a raft of social and political issues. Additionally, it turns out that Fehler Family Exterminating is on shaky financial ground, and with a looming recession, it’s only going to get worse. Each of the five women ends up digging into themselves to save the business and mend the relationships between them.
If you like family stories, quirky characters, and strong women, you want to grab a copy of this book! It reminded me of a modern mash of Little Women ( mother and daughters struggling to make it and thrive on their own) and Pride and Prejudice (mother and daughters who face losing their inheritance to a distant, male relative).
The interjection of bugs and the general exterminator business also gives the book a unique twist and keeps the story from feeling overly saccharine.
I also appreciated how the author spent time fleshing out each of the daughters and their mother, Grace. Grace is not just relegated to a background character/widow of Robbie; she’s allowed to be a person with her own peculiarities and mistakes. For example, the daughters quickly find out their mother is having an affair, and that’s just one of many secrets that the five women have been hiding.
I won’t go too much more into each character’s journey to avoid spoilers, but suffice to say that this is a wonderful book for anyone who enjoys quirky family stories. I highly recommend it!