A dark, seductive and threatening debut novel, set on a remote honey farm teeming with secrets.
The bees are restless.
After a long drought, Cynthia’s isolated honey farm has suffered in the heat. Soil dries into sand; honeycomb stiffens into wax. But she has a plan: offer the farm as an artists’ colony with free board and ‘life experience’ in exchange for a summer of hard labour. For Silvia, a recent graduate and would-be poet, the chance to test her independence proves irresistible – as does Ibrahim, a passionate painter she meets there.
But the honey farm isn’t all it seems. The idyllic summer is soon plagued by ominous events: taps run red, scalps itch with lice, frogs swarm the pond. The constant drone of bees begins to build like thunder in the air.
One by one the other residents leave, until only Silvia and Ibrahim remain – perilously in love under Cynthia’s watchful eye. And as summer shifts into autumn, Silvia becomes increasingly paranoid that they are in danger. What are the shadowy secrets that Cynthia is hiding? And if Silvia and Ibrahim have overstayed their welcome, what happens when they want to leave?
“Mysterious, suspenseful, and unnerving, The Honey Farm offers a thrilling narrative that examines the distorted realities and conflicting perceptions that often exist in the quietest places”
Iain Reid, bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things
“A seductive, menacing thriller overflowing with secrets”
Sydney Morning Herald
“Lye writes splendidly and with great feeling and sensuality about the natural world . . . a story that grows more sinister as the drought grips harder”
Good Reading Magazine
“Mysterious and unsettling”
“A masterful debut”