Sarah Crossan's 266-page novel in verse tells through exquisite writing the story of Ana and Conor’s three-year love affair, hidden away in deleted text messages, hotel rooms and secret meet-up spots. Their love is addictive, powerful, filled with lust, and most of all heartbreaking.

Here is the Beehive takes on the brutal truths of this obsessive relationship and all of the mental strains that come along with that. The readers not only get to delve into Conor and Ana’s relationship but also get an insight into the marriages of both.

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Listen: Sarah Crossan talks Here is the Beehive on RTÉ Arena

After tragedy strikes, Ana finds that the secret is making her question almost every aspect of her life and marriage with her husband Paul. Ana feels lost in her marriage and begins to spend less and less time with her kids and husband and more time out drinking.

While grieving, Ana befriends the most unexpected companion, Conor's wife Rebecca and their friendship correspondingly becomes a secret and extremely obsessive relationship,  Ana once envied and compared herself to Rebecca on a daily basis, so there is a kind of entwined history,a conjoining which is skillfully handled by the author.

Nevertheless, This is the Beehive is replete with humour, love, heartbreak and jealousy. The story draws on universal experiences with an admirable honesty about how difficult relationships can be.

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Watch: Rick O'Shea's Shelf Analysis - Rick talks to Sarah Crossan

Carnegie medal-winning Irish author Sarah Crossan is the author of a number of successful books for young adults, including Toffee, Breathe and Moonrise and others. The fiction writer currently lives in Hertfordshire and she has also lived in London and New York. A Dubliner, she graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University, following a Masters in creative writing. 

Hannah Byrne