Vintage Margaret Atwood meets Patricia Highsmith in this slyly seductive debut set on an eerily beautiful farm teeming with secrets.
The drought has discontented the bees. Soil dries into sand; honeycomb stiffens into wax. But Cynthia knows how to breathe life back into her farm: offer it as an artists’ colony with free room, board, and “life experience” in exchange for backbreaking labour. Silvia, a wide-eyed graduate and would-be poet, and Ibrahim, a painter distracted by constant inspiration, are drawn to Cynthia’s offer, and soon, to each other.
But something lies beneath the surface. The edenic farm is plagued by events that strike Silvia as ominous: taps run red, scalps itch with lice, frogs swarm the pond. One by one, the other residents leave. As summer tenses into autumn, Cynthia’s shadowed past is revealed and Silvia becomes increasingly paralyzed by doubt. Building to a shocking conclusion, The Honey Farm announces the arrival of a bold new voice and offers a thrilling portrait of creation and possession in the natural world.
Harriet Alida Lye is a writer from Richmond Hill, Ontario. She studied Philosophy and English at the University of King's College in Halifax and lived in Paris for the better part of eight years. She founded and edited Her Royal Majesty, a literary arts magazine that ran for six years and published James Franco, Robert Hass, and the first-ever short story by Alice Munro. Her fiction, essays, and reporting have been published by VICE, Hazlitt, Happy Reader, The Guardian, The National Post, and more. Harriet now lives in Toronto, and works at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. This is her first novel.
“An accomplished meditation on love, creativity, and the wonder of the natural world.” —Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls
“A deliciously creepy read.” —Andrea Gunraj, author of The Sudden Disappearance of Seetha
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