‘Find out who you are, and live that life.’
Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below.
At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette.
The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.
Honeybee is a heartbreaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.
Honeybee is the long-awaited new novel by Jasper Jones author, Craig Silvey. Jasper Jones was a bestseller, won a slew of awards and was turned into a film. It has been 11-years between books, and surely there must be some trepidation following up such a hugely successful novel, but Silvey has delivered – Honeybee is superb, different and shows maturity in his already incredible writing style.
At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.
It’s clear that Silvey understands the uncertainty and frustration of many young people as they navigate the world, and this is beautifully personified in Sam as she comes to understand her own life. Her journey is written with such honesty and sympathy, which amplifies the emotional rollercoaster this novel takes you on.
Honeybee is one of those books that stays with you long after the final page. It is a coming of age story that highlights the many struggles of not only young people, but people struggling with identity as they come to understand themselves. It’s a mesmerising read with many heartfelt moments that will make laugh and cry.
Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel, brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It’s about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter — one offering hope, the other redemption. It’s about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.
Craig Silvey is a masterful writer and has blown me away with the tenderness and honesty in this story. A new favourite of mine. I highly recommend it.