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The Hive

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A story of survival, sisters, and secrets.

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 esca
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 8th 2021 by Keylight Books
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jun 07, 2021 rated it liked it
In the beginning I was really enjoying this story of a family of four daughters and their parents whom they referred to as the hive. The family has a pest control service so there interesting facts about bugs interspersed throughout. More facts about bedbugs, however, instead of bees which I thought odd given the title. The book is told in five voices which is a lot given that the book is only about three hundred pages. It works but ultimately a little too idealistically and neatly. Where the au ...more
Barbara Powell
Jun 05, 2021 rated it liked it
The Fehler family has been in the pest control business for decades with their dad Robbie, as the head of the team and their mom, Grace, running things at home and doing all she can to prep her family for doomsday. Their 4 daughters are all expected to take over the family business since they’ve been working in it all their lives, even though all but 1 don’t want anything to do with it.
Then Robbie dies and leave the family reeling with his loss, and then all his secrets come to light as well as
Caroline Bock
Read THE HIVE by Melissa Scholes Young! I had the great joy of getting a hold of an Advanced Reader's Copy-- and it is a character-driven novel that is still buzzing in my head.

Think of a cross between Where the Crawdads Sing Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Little Women Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- and you will have the evocatively written story of the Fehler family. I knew it would be something special when the prologue ended on this line: "The only moment that matters is the one you are living," which in this moment in America, seems s
Jamy Bond
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this intimate portrait of the struggles faced by the Fehler sisters as they work to save their family business in the face of economic hardship and rural, small town drama. Scholes Young is adept at moving the story forward through the distinct voices and perspectives of multiple narrators. The writing is lyrical and moving, and each character shines with vibrancy, complexity, passion, and love. Ultimately, the book explores questions of individual vs family identity, loyalty and ...more
Shelby Harper
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I finished this beautiful novel with (happy) tears in my eyes. THE HIVE is told through the viewpoints of the strong women of the Fehler family. Each voice was different from the others, and compelling enough to have carried the entire story, though I’m glad readers get to intimately know each of the women in the family. The story and plot kept me turning pages, but the beautiful writing and the message of family, race, and class touched my heart. This is a lovely novel I high recommend to all.
Kate Lemery
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
With passion and empathy, Scholes Young provides a window on the culture of a small Mississippi River town.

The Fehler women’s (mom Grace and daughters Maggie, Jules, Tammy, and Kate) lives are shattered with the untimely death of the patriarch Robbie, their youngish husband/father whom they never doubted would guide them forever.

Told through alternating points of view, the story tracks the sisters’ determination to save the family pest-control business amid an unfriendly political and social la
Caron Martinez
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Hive, a story about a family struggling to hold onto their family business while dealing with deep grief at the sudden loss of their family patriarch, is one of those books you're definitely going to want to share with friends so you can discuss all the dynamics of the four Fehler sisters: their challenges, faults, and choices. At various points in the story I had different favorites, identifying with the responsible eldest sister Maggie, loving the rebel sister Jules, cheering for the Phoen ...more
Lynn Kanter
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In a small, conservative, Missouri town in 2008, four sisters must scramble to save their family pest control business and figure out a future for themselves in the wake of their father’s death. They learn that he has plunged the company into debt, and left it in equal shares to them and a distant male cousin, certain that no woman can manage a business, although the oldest sister had been doing so for years. Their mother, a “prepper” who’s convinced the end is imminent, especially if Obama is e ...more
Amy Freeman
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
WOW. What a satisfying ending. No spoilers; I'll just say oh, the list, the list.....

Through exquisite details and a slew of credible narrators, The Hive dropped me right into the Fehler's midwestern family's teetering family business. Scholes Youngs chronicles the family's individual struggles about who they are, what's expected of them, and what they really want with compassion and without judgment.

I was particularly moved by Grace, the matriarch and doomsday prepper driven by a certainty tha
Wendy Hahn
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hive introduces four strong sisters and their mother who must ban together following the death of the family patriarch to keep the family and the family business together as a rural culture prepares for the end times following the election of President Obama. These women are fierce and conflicted; each brings something essential to the table in terms of survival. If you'd like to figure out how we got where we are as a divided country today, reading The Hive is a fabulous place to begin with ...more
Travis Naughton
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Hive is a masterfully written story about a completely fascinating midwestern American family. This book is accessible, relatable, and stunningly beautiful. It is rare to find a book that honestly and lovingly depicts small-town life without reducing it to a caricature or a hackneyed stereotype. The Hive is a must-read for people seeking an antidote to the negativity that pervades today’s world.
Rhiannon Johnson
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was drawn to this novel because it's not often I see the phrase "crumbling patriarchy" in a summary. I was also intrigued with the story's location: rural Missouri, near Hannibal, which is the halfway point between where my mother and my father live. I'm familiar with this geographic area and I'm familiar with the way of life that author Melissa Scholes Young depicts in this story. The Fehler parents, Robbie and
Rubie Clark
I absolutely loved The Hives by Melissa!
This was such an amazing book.
The Fehler girls are trying to find themselves and make their mark in this world.
While struggling to keep their family business afloat "Fehler Pest Control"
My favorite thing about the book was how the author touches on topics that ring true today.
The book was beautifully written and well crafted.
I was hooked from the very beginning.
And the audio that narration was done so well. ♡
I can't recommend this boo
Julia Tagliere
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
There’s something to be said for comfort food. With the absolute train wreck that was 2020, escaping into a satisfying, funny, moving book has never felt more like self-care, and Melissa Scholes Young’s new novel, The Hive, fits the bill perfectly.

With her opening pages, Scholes Young welcomes the reader with open arms into the lives and loves of her main characters, the four Fehler sisters and their mother, serving up a generous helping of nostalgia-inducing childhood pleasures: lazy summer af
Teresa Murphy
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Little Women on the Mississippi: A Modern Take on Alcott’s Classic Novel

Melissa Scholes Young’s novel, “The Hive,” transports readers to a time before MAGA hats were donned and members of the Squad took their seats in the United States House of Representatives. The chasm between red and blue America had not reached its current depth, but fissures were forming. Scholes Young’s novel, set in the heart of flyover country, invites readers into the lives of a working-class family coping with a deep e
Jun 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, netgalley
3.5 ⭐️
This was a hot mess but it was their hot mess. A misguided mother who seemed completely crazy will have to raise
4 daughters alone. All of them had struggles, mistakes. And it was a front row seat to their family. This novel was about starting over.
An audiobook for me and the narrator Hallie Ricardo was new to me. She did a fair job and I recommend listening to this.
Thanks Dreamscape Media via Netgalley.
Jennifer Klepper
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I'm still thinking about the Fehler sisters. Melissa Scholes Young takes the reader to 2007, when the economic recession is throwing families and businesses into financial distress, the foundations for the Tea Party are being laid (lain? 🙃), and four sisters and their mother are at a family pivot point. Young does an expert job of giving each of these women a distinct voice—no mean feat. We're drawn into the story by meticulously detailed characters ...more
Debbi Hamm
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hive is a novel of secrets and sisterhood. The four Fehler sisters face the struggles and conflicts that came about during the economic recession of 2007. Their struggles are not unique to living in a rural community where everyone knows your family business (pest control in this particular novel) and your "family business" like who is dating who, which sister is the prettiest, etc. What IS unique is how the sisters, with the help of a distant cousin, overcome their differences to bring abou ...more
Anthony Castellano
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
*I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased review*

With The Hive, Melissa Scholes Young has crafted a beautiful, character-driven dive into the close-knit, titular hive of the Fehler family: parents Robbie & Grace, and sisters Maggie, Jules, Tammy, & Kate. From doomsday-prepper/survivalist mom Grace, to teenage beauty queen Tammy & littlest bug-girl Kate, the characters spring off the page with such exquisite detail and intimacy that I couldn’t help
Laura Scalzo
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A literary version of American Roots Rock. Long live the Fehler women with their scrap and grit and indefatigable ways. And long live Grace Fehler's merciful words, "You can always come home." ...more
Margo Littell
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
The Fehler family’s pest control business has long been the center of their world. Robbie steers the ship, with his wife, Grace, following reluctantly behind. The four Fehler daughters are varying degrees of helpful. Maggie, the oldest, believes she might take over the business one day. Jules can’t wait to escape to college, where her liberal views won’t make her a pariah. Local beauty Tammy is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. And Kate, the youngest, watches her sisters as she tries to figur ...more
Katherine White
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Melissa Scholes Young's second novel, The Hive, is the story of a family of self-reliant, resourceful women who overcome tragedy and loss with intelligence, ingenuity, and a love for each other that overrides their disagreements and the inevitable friction of being a family. The book is full of fresh prose, humor, and drama, which makes for a whopping good story. It also provides valuable insight into the mindset of some of the people who live in "red" states, an understanding which is invaluabl ...more
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
May 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
If you watched January 6th and thought to yourself, “I’d like some backstory on these people.” Or “I wonder what all of these guys were doing in the late 00s.” then this is the book for you! Doomsday preppers, people who halfway threaten to fire their employees if they vote for Obama, and people who get mad that their daughter lets her black boyfriend come to her father’s funeral all meet for wacky times when one of them kicks the bucket but can’t imagine letting a woman run the pest control bus ...more
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Scholes Young’s novel The Hive is a story that will enchant you from the first page. Growing up in Missouri, the Fehler sisters and their parents run a generations-old pest control business. Even though the business has been passed down, the girls don’t want to accept the out-dated ideas about women and business that their father Robbie isn’t ready to let go of. Their mother Grace has different priorities – saving the family if all hell breaks loose and finally needing to use those end-o ...more
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Scholes Young writes the Midwest with such gritty realism I can’t help but instantly feel at home in the scenery and with the characters.

The story is real, raw and incredibly compelling. The Fehler sisters struggle to save the family bug business, their mother’s obsession with prepping, the push and pull of traditional values vs. the changing world—all told through the perspectives of the characters themselves—made me feel like I was a part of the family in the best and worst ways.

May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can already tell this is gonna be a book that everyone is gonna go crazy for. And rightfully so. This is the perfect summer read. I fell in love with the Fehler family in these pages and enjoyed every second I was immersed in their lives. Melissa Scholes Young did an excellent job writing dimensional characters with good and bad qualities. I laughed and cried along with each of them. The Hive is, in my opinion, a beautiful story about the power of women; whether they know it or not, family, an ...more
Amanda Nelson (The Midtown Reader)
TW: Cutting and self harm, racial profiling and racism, radical republican depictions.

What a unique and charming story of the Fehler sisters and their family's fourth generation pest control company!

The matriarch of the family, Grace is a dooms day prepper who is determined to keep her daughters safe from the pending doom of a presidential election and recession. Her husband, Robbie is a right winged republican Obama hater who is stuck in the old ways of life. Women belong in the kitchen, not ru
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved the women in this story, who are learning to stand on their own after the loss of their husband/father. Each one is so different and sees life and love so uniquely that you get five very distinct glimpses into their thoughts and dreams.

I received a copy from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Missie Jacobson
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
The narrator for the audio on this book was fantastic! I really liked the Hive. Living in a rural area myself I could really see how a family would stick together for a business. I was also really mad that the father wanted a male heir to help run the business. But sadly that probably happens alot!!this book gave me alot of memoir vibes. Just felt real and honest. You felt like you were listening to Fehler sisters like they were your close friends.
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, dnf, 2021
This is the story of four sisters reforging their relationships after the death of their father, while dealing with the family bug extermination business. It’s set in the South, in the type of community that has a survival prepping club rather than automatically labeling preppers completely nuts.

I was immediately turned off by the awkwardness of the prologue, and thought the dialogue was an especially poor indication of how the rest of the book would go. The dialogue is stiff and unnatural. Peo
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Melissa Scholes Young is the author of the novels The Hive and Flood, and editor of Grace in Darkness and Furious Gravity, two anthologies by women writers. She is a contributing editor at Fiction Writers Review, and her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Ms., Washington Post, Poets & Writers, Ploughshares, Literary Hub and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of the Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo F ...more

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