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Book giveaway this week: The Hive by Gill Hornby

(44 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 10:32:57

We're delighted that publishers Little, Brown are generously offering mumsnetters 50 copies of Gill Hornby's brilliant debut novel The Hive, hot off the printing press (hardback) and already predicted to be huge this summer. The Hive tells the story of a group of mums at the school gate. It's a story about group politics, female friendship and the joys and perils of Lunch Ladders, car boot sales and the do's and don'ts of dressing your child as a Dalek. If you're interested, visit the giveaway page to hear Gill Hornby talking about The Hive and read the first chapter and if you'd like to get your hands on a copy and post up your thoughts on this thread, apply here.

AnonYonimousBird Fri 17-May-13 09:42:50

I have - quite excited! Thanks

shash1982 Mon 20-May-13 12:42:04

I've been trying to sign up for the book giveaway at the weekend & it wont let me!sad

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 16:50:51

This book giveaway is now closed. We'll email all those who've been allocated books as soon as we hear they have been sent out. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this thread once you've had chance to read.

DesperateHousewife21 Tue 21-May-13 20:07:28

Woo I've been selected! Thank you smile

Will post my review once I've read it, might take me a while with two small children!

gottasmile Sun 26-May-13 06:39:50

I've been selected too and received my copy yesterday! I'm sure I'll be able to relate, it's tough sometimes at the school gates. I'm enjoying it already!

gottasmile Sun 26-May-13 06:44:36

Forgot to say thank you!!!!!!!

Southeastdweller Sun 26-May-13 09:59:43

Viv Groskop has just tweeted about this book. Looks like a fun book that I'd be interested in reading.

schoolchauffeur Tue 28-May-13 14:10:07

Just received my copy in the mail! Lovely surprise MN! I had forgotten I had signed up for it and haven't received an email. Will start reading it tomorrow and will hopefully be able to start discussing by the weekend.

dellabob Tue 28-May-13 15:13:03

Received and already started reading :-) Enjoying it so far - thank you MN

Perspective21 Tue 28-May-13 18:10:13

Thank you! Am half way through, need to get all in bed again so I can concentrate,I like to be in a quiet place to catch all the little clues the author drops as she constructs the tale. Am loving it so far smile

katb1973 Thu 30-May-13 15:18:39

Thanks Mumsnet for a copy of this. Just finished reading it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think, like others, I can totally relate to the idea of playground politics discussed in the book. I thought it was really interesting that the characters in the book were just perpetuating what is found by girls in the schoolyard on a regular basis. Whilst I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by supportive Mums (Rachels) who share honestly and don't try to make others feel like outcasts I have many friends that experience 'Bea' on a daily basis. A light read but entertaining....go for it!

gottasmile Thu 30-May-13 16:40:12

I've just read the fruit shoot comment and had to laugh! Clover's a mumsnetter!

littlewifey Thu 30-May-13 22:26:13

Couldn't put this down- thanks mumsnet! Really enjoyed it and suspect it was because I am familiar with ppl who resemble the characters! Unfortunately, everyone knows a 'Bea'!! Definitely an enjoyable read.

slightlyroundthebend Fri 31-May-13 21:52:06

I have just started reading this tonight, totally shattered so will have to continue tomorrow. Seems promising but haven't warmed to the characters yet but am a little intrigued!!

scrappydappydoo Sun 02-Jun-13 18:30:07

Just finished - thanks for the book!
Good light read - quite funny in parts - I loved the acronyms for the pta groups. Its one of those books where you identify with one character as being 'you' and you tend to follow their thread.
I found it interesting that it didn't really touch on the whole internet side of things - there was one reference to facebook in the entire book. I would have thought facebook/twitter is ripe for this kind of thing - I know a lot of our schoolgate stuff is very much about who posted what etc. It seemed to somehow date the book - as in it could have been written in the 1990's rather than 2013.
I would have also liked to have seen the view from the other side - knowing what Bea was thinking as well as those in her inner circle.
I did enjoy the book and will pass it on to friends.

schoolchauffeur Mon 03-Jun-13 08:39:49

Just finished this yesterday and its is not the sort of thing I usually read, but it became a real page turner and I really enjoyed it. I recognised several of the characters. My only criticism was that the quality of the writing varied. For example, the whole ball scene was described very well whereas the quiz night jut seemed to jar/and felt very contrived." I loved the different styles of the PTA minutes as Heather is told each time to write it differently -probably the funniest parts of the book.

Perspective21 Mon 03-Jun-13 14:26:22

I've finished it, I enjoyed it, I wanted to find out what happened but...on the whole I was just a bit disappointed; it seemed to promise more than it actually delivered in terms of plot and characters. A few chapters in, I could just sense how it was going to develop and then it did!

I was expecting some more twists or complications and I'm afraid there weren't any. At times the writing was very funny, loved the descriptions of the lunch ladder menus. At times it was a bit lazy, especially cuing up the type of people they were by vehicle at the car boot...

In the end I was a bit irritated by the power the followers let the leaders have over them, I'm not sure it is ever quite so obvious in the school communities I've been in, there are more nuances than those captured here. In fact the characterisation became annoying, like caricatures as the book progressed!

The end fell a bit flat, almost a farcical note I felt. I did want to find out what happened to them all but I was rather annoyed with all of them by the end!

It is a very light summer read; you'll recognise some of the characters and some of the school situations but it won't "take " you anywhere in your imagination, or make you think more deeply about anything at all.

It felt like a good story was wanting to emerge, but didn't quite...or maybe my expectations were too high for the market this is pitched at? I think I thought it would be Joanna Trollope type of social observation, but it wasn't anywhere near as skilled.

Good idea which lost its impetus somewhere.

Thanks for the chance to read it though! grin

taddyd Mon 03-Jun-13 14:30:40

Oh my goodness - having been involved in school fundraising quite a bit in the past I did wonder if Gill Hornby had been present in some of our meetings! Thoroughly enjoyed this. Top tip - read this when doing school pick-up - makes it all the funnier.

gottasmile Mon 03-Jun-13 14:50:42

I've finished it too, and agree with some of what Perspective 21 said. I would have liked more insight into some other characters' perspectives, even those of the children.

The ending didn't seem very thought out, Bea's "outcome" didn't seem very realistic.

I agree some of it was written well, other times a little lazy, as Perspective said.

I identified with one of the characters, then at one point I thought, "no, I'd never do that"!!!

Overall, I enjoyed it and couldn't wait to get to the end.

countingdown Mon 03-Jun-13 22:02:02

I started this book when I got into bed tonight. Was planning on an early night, but want to read on now! Have only read the first few chapters, but have really enjoyed what I have read so far.

AnonYonimousBird Thu 06-Jun-13 21:26:22

OO, I've got mine, thank you. It's about four books away currently, but the ones in between are fast readers, so hopefully not long until I start!

cluttered Thu 06-Jun-13 23:34:59

I've finished it too, enjoyed it more than I thought I would from the cover which screamed chick lit. I agree it didn't have much character development but it was really easy to read and fun even if it was a bit predictable and some of the characters were caricatures. It never made me think that I couldn't be bothered to read any more as holiday fiction sometimes does.

Although it was a light humorous read overall there were some more poignant parts e.g. Heather's infertility, the thoughtlessness of Rachel's exP towards their DD which were quite well observed.

Thanks for sending me a copy

countingdown Sat 08-Jun-13 14:11:59

Thank you for sending me a copy. When I started reading it, I really enjoyed it, but after the first few chapters the characters began to annoy me somewhat.

Some of the characters were definitely people I recognise from the playground, but I didn't really 'get' them. It would have been interesting to read more about Bea and maybe see life from her perspective. Similarly with Tom Orchard, more insight into his thoughts on all these bonkers women, and reading about his feelings on his and Rachel's friendship would have been good.

I felt the ending was a little rushed - almost as if the author had reached her allotted number of words.

I did enjoy this book, and would recommend it to people looking for a light read.

dellabob Sun 09-Jun-13 21:50:07

Well, I managed to reach the end, despite the predictable outcomes and OTT characters. I found most of the characters extremely irritating, but the core of the story kept me reading. I did find the writing style disjointed and the end if the author was a little bored of the characters and story by this point.

Some of the characters were too weak willed and stereotypical for me, which did make me angry at times..good if that's what the author wanted to achieve!

It was a light read and good storyline in general, but I felt it could have been explored better particularly with the synergy between Rachel's mothers' bees/beekeeping analogy and the central characters.

Big thanks thought for sending me a copy :-)

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