Grey Bees by  Andrey Kurkov

Grey Bees

Andrey Kurkov

Set after the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, we follow beekeeper Sergeyich, an inhabitant of the war-battered eastern Grey Zone, as he journeys through Ukraine to seek a safe location for his beehives. His quest navigates us through the complexity of contested territory, where nature, surreal humour and stoic kindness lift an undercurrent of shell-shocked numbness. An illuminating, humane read of care and survival within unending conflict.


He left behind him a war in which he had taken no part, in which he had simply happened to have found himself dwelling. Yes, he had been a resident of war - an unenviable fate, but one far more bearable for people than for bees. If it weren't for the bees, he wouldn't have gone anywhere; he would have taken pity on Pashka and not left him all alone. But bees don't understand what war is. Bees can't switch from peace to war and back again, as people do.... That's why he had to go, to drive them out to where it was quiet, where the air was gradually filling with the sweetness of blossoming herbs .... 

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