Overlong, crowded with characters and densely packed with information are the first few thoughts that spring to mind in regard to Gill Hornby's debut novel. It was written for the right reasons--chronicling the lives of the mothers of the children who attend St Ambrose Primary and their complicated social hierarchy and including some very interesting analogies about bee keeping--but the telling is just so bloody boring that I struggled with this one. I get that parts of the novel were supposed to be funny, however I had trouble "getting" some of the jokes. This book isn't terrible, but it really wasn't for me.
The Hive is a sincere effort and no doubt was intended as an interesting look at female friendships and might be better suited to those who have primary school aged children and enjoy being part of a clique. (Or perhaps, who had being part of a clique and want a good reason not to go near one ...)