Entertainment » Books

Lost In The Beehive

by Kitty Drexel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Apr 10, 2018
Lost In The Beehive

"Lost in the Beehive" is a novel about female identity reclamation. In it, protagonist Gloria Ricci is asked again and again to dismiss her attraction to women for the sake of normalcy. Bees buzz around her as she navigates the pitfalls of heterosexual relationships despite her lesbian orientation. This Simon & Schuster novel is available in stores and online starting in mid-April 2018.

Gloria Ricci is in love with Isabel. Believing that her parents only have her best interests in mind, Gloria is convinced to visit the Belmont Institute for a cure. She leaves months later, confident that she isn't sick. On a whim, she and her best friend, the incurably sassy Sheffield Schoeffler, move to Greenwich Village. The city nearly breaks her, and she moves home. She marries Jacob, an insecure hipster. They move to North Carolina and have a baby. It is there that Gloria meets Betty. After trying so hard to be who she isn't, Gloria finds a love to remind her who she is.

The novel opens with a quote from fictional character, Madame Zelda, who advises Gloria (and the reader) to "pay attention to the bees." The quote communicates a magical realism that permeates the entire work. Even the pray-the-gay-away Belmont Institute, with its shock treatments and other abusive therapies, skews towards the fantastical. Bees are Gloria's tiny guardians and companions. In their way, they remind Gloria that she is not alone.

Readers should be aware that "Lost in the Beehive" may be triggering. Young-Stone employs tactics such as emotional and physical abuse, gaslighting, and gender expectations to tell Gloria's story. Themes such as hetero-normativity, male entitlement, and systemic misogyny are at constant play. There are several unsavory male characters that are intentionally and realistically cruel. Young-Stone's words cut to the quick.

"Lost in the Beehive" includes a letter from Simon & Schuster associate editor, Julianna Haubner. She supports Young-Stone's novel by urging the reader to live fully. The novel's heroine, Gloria Ricci makes many mistakes, but learns from them and carries on. This is good a reminder for our community: We will struggle to find who we are, but we must keep going.


"Lost in the Beehive"
bu Michele Young-Stone
$16.00
http://www.simonandschuster.com

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