Parent School Politics Out in the Open

By Gill Hornby
Little, Brown and Company, $25.00, 341 pages

The Hive shows the sordid details of school vs. parent politics in a humorous and snarky way. There are many fundraising events at St. Ambrose that require communication and teamwork – two things the cast of characters do not know how to do. Bea is the queen bee and is used to getting things her way, but is not willing to actually put forth any real effort of her own. Heather sadly has only one child and struggles to “do anything right”. Her need for approval is painful. Rachel is going through a separation and used to be Bea’s best friend but things have fizzled for some unknown reason. Melissa appears to be the perfect newbie and often shows up in the nick of time to save the day – or at least a failing event. Georgie’s life is in chaos but loves every minute of it since leaving her high-powered legal career. Bubba is planning the Christmas ball and is faced with several snafus. Amidst all this drama, there is a parent suicide.

The Hive has a confusing cast of characters given the sheer number of them. The dialogue is snarky and catty and some readers may find it humorous. The trials and tribulations of school fund raising are real, but the school politics are exaggerated for effect. This reviewer never connected with the characters or the storyline.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff

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