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The Hive

The Hive

by Melissa Scholes Young

Narrated by Hallie Ricardo

Unabridged — 9 hours, 35 minutes

Melissa Scholes Young
The Hive

The Hive

by Melissa Scholes Young

Narrated by Hallie Ricardo

Unabridged — 9 hours, 35 minutes

Melissa Scholes Young

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The Fehler sisters wanted to be more than bug girls but growing up in a fourth-generation family pest-control business in rural Missouri, their path was fixed. The family talked about Fehler Family Exterminating at every meal, even when their mom said to separate the business from the family, an impossible task. They tried to escape work with trips to their trailer camp on the Mississippi River, but the sisters did more fighting than fishing. If only there was a son to lead rural Missouri insect control and guide the way through a crumbling patriarchy. After Robbie Fehler's sudden death, the surprising details of succession in his will are revealed. He's left the company to a distant cousin, assuming the women of the family aren't capable. As the mother's long-term affair surfaces and her apocalypse prepper training intensifies, she wants to trade responsibility for romance. Facing an economic recession amidst the backdrop of growing Midwestern fear and resentment, the Fehler sisters unite in their struggle to save the company's finances and the family's future. To survive, they must overcome a political chasm that threatens a new civil war as the values that once united them now divide the very foundation they've built. Through alternating point-of-views, grief and regret gracefully give way to the enduring strength of the hive.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Young’s entertaining if undercooked latest (after The Flood) follows four sisters and the mother of the Fehler family of Cape Girardeau, Mo. When patriarch Robbie dies of a heart attack, the Fehler women are left with a mountain of debt, uncertainty, and heartbreak. Grace, Robbie’s widow, is wracked with guilt over an affair with Robbie’s coworker and throws herself into doomsday prepping. Twenty-year-old Maggie fights to save the family exterminating business despite discovering Robbie has left shares to a distant male relative to safeguard against the company becoming one led by women. Jules, a freshman at the University of Missouri, has a Black boyfriend and plans to vote for Obama in the 2008 election—things that would’ve driven Robbie crazy. Not to be outdone, 16-year-old Tammy is secretly pregnant, and 12-year-old Kate harbors a clandestine crush on her classmate Lila. As the Fehlers deal with their respective personal crises, they confront the staggering medical costs of Robbie’s death and the bleakness of a future without him. While the family dynamics are engaging, the drama can get overheated, and Young’s exploration of racism and sexism feels simplistic. It’s a decent enough family drama, but it’s not going to set the world on fire. (June)

From the Publisher

"You’ll buzz through The Hive, Melissa Scholes Young’s vibrant second novel about a close family and their closely held secrets . . . A loving portrait of a family that closes ranks even as it opens its heart." —Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of Man Alive!

"I love books about sisters, and I love The Hive, which has all the eccentricity and yearning of some of my favorite sister stories, like We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and Sisters by a River by Barbara Comyns. From the very first chapter, The Hive is a deft, delightfully weird, and often comical family saga." —Timothy Schaffert, author of The Perfume Thief

The Hive [is] the kind of authentic and deeply felt novel that could only be crafted from personal experience . . . Melissa Scholes Young gracefully and compassionately captures the moving story of four young women seeking out their own independence while drawn, inexorably, back, and back again, into the family business.” —Dean Bakopoulos, author of Summerlong

“I love when an author takes me someplace I’ve never been. Much like an epic Jane Smiley novel, Melissa Scholes Young transports us to rural America, inside a family-owned pest control business and four sisters’ struggle to keep it afloat in a changing political landscape. The Hive is a moving and completely immersive reading experience.” —Marcy Dermansky, author of Very Nice

"The Hive by Melissa Scholes Young is real and raw and will pin you back in your seat. It’s a powerful portrait of a family coming to terms with a changing world that some are ready for, and others are not. The Fahler family is beautifully rendered in their messy complexity―flawed, tragic, and hopeful, all at once. I loved it." —Alex George, author of The Paris Hours, owner of Skylark Bookshop

"The Hive has so many things that readers look for in a novel—great characters and musings on family dynamics, feminism, and grief. The sisters will stay with you long after you make the journey with them to break free, take adventures, accept risks, make choices, have hope. Kudos to Melissa Scholes Young. The Hive is the family saga I have been waiting for." —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller

“Filled with the messiness of family emotions and presumptions, along with the age-old question of 'Who do I want to be, and how do I fit in?' this sweet and delightfully quirky novel will draw you in and not let go.” —Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm Omaha

"The Hive is a rich and complex family narrative . . . Imperfect, real, and true-to-life characters are presented in a page-turning story line that book clubs will devour!" —Mary Webber O'Malley, Skylark Bookshop

"I know a book is good when I wake up at 4 a.m. on a Sunday and pick up where I left off . . . a front row seat to the challenges women face in a small town in Midwest America." —Shelf Unbound

"Readers won’t easily forget the voices of the Fehler women." Portland Book Review

The Hive puts a finger on what American media has been chasing since the Tea Party formed and through Donald Trump’s term as president: small-town Midwest Americans’ motivations . . . What carries The Hive more than the themes and the characters is the gorgeousness of the prose. Scholes Young invites us into the Fehler family dynamic and the fascination of white Midwestern lifestyles with potent language." Mom Egg Review

"A captivating story . . . The Hive is a novel worth reading." Washington Independent Review of Books

"How about a nice, new family drama with more than its share of comic spirit, marked by its Midwestern flavor? The Hive by Melissa Scholes Young." Chicago Tribune

"The Hive is a memorable saga of sisterhood, life-testing challenges, and ties that bind, highly recommended." Midwest Book Review


"An honest and stunningly beautiful portrait of life in rural America that readers from all walks of life will appreciate." —Travis Naughton, Boone County Journal


"A book with a heart that grows bigger than its central metaphor . . . It’s the love that Scholes Young instills in The Hive that makes this book such a memorable, complex, and layered study of a family whose hearts have grown beyond the various institutions that underpin their values." —Megan Cummins, The Rumpus 


"[Melissa] Scholes Young artfully paints vibrant pictures of the Fehler women . . . and highlights their trials and triumphs while navigating life in rural Missouri." —Corinne Ahrens, Ms. magazine


“Melissa Scholes Young defines what it truly means to be a family . . . A moving portrait . . . With five distinct voices, the Fehler womens’ stories are guaranteed to connect with readers and remind them of the importance of family as the Fehler’s learn that each day is not guaranteed. The Hive centers on the feeling we all crave: a sense of belonging.” Sundress Reads


“Grace Fehler is so authentic one wouldn’t be surprised to meet her at a Walmart store in her hometown of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, or at a camp where survivalists learn to prepare for the end of the world . . . Scholes Young writes that story by peeling away the mask of motherhood layer by layer, ultimately exposing what Maushart describes as ‘a countenance of infinite expressiveness.’ Through the lens of Grace’s experience, Scholes Young gifts readers with a mother figure who ‘womans up’ in the best conceivable way.” —Teresa Burns Murphy, Literary Mama


“This compelling family drama by a local author explores family and identity in moving, gorgeous prose.” —Hannah Grieco, Washingtonian


“The narratives are woven masterfully against the backdrop of the election of President Barack Obama—an election about which the family members have differing opinions. Despite their differences, the Fehler women are resilient and resourceful in this story of sisters and survival.” —Jen Roberts, St. Louis Magazine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173058478
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 05/27/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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