“Spring on a honey farm, she thinks. That could be nice.”
When a drought takes over an isolated honey farm, the owner, Cynthia advertises it as an artists’ colony with free room and board in exchange for labour. Two of the people that decide to make the journey are Silvia, a recent graduate, and Ibrahim, a painter. But life on the farm does not exactly meet expectations, especially when troublesome events begin to occur and ones which Silvia finds terribly ominous: frogs swarm the pond, an outbreak of lice, taps run red, and soon the guests begin to leave.
“… as Silvia lies in bed in a paralysis of what to become, time extending before her like an eternal diving board, she hears the cries of children playing during recess in the schoolyard on her block; they seem to have no problem at all with the fluidity of being and becoming.”
This is a very atmospheric and creepy novel. The author brings the honey farm to life, along with the isolating, unsettling nature of the place, and I found myself completely engrossed in the setting. It is told through shorter chapters, which works really well and provides great flow to the story. This is one of those novels that leaves you with more questions than answers, and I’m not quite sure what to make of a lot of the latter part of the story. However, it is a well-crafted novel that left an impression, and one that is potentially a source for great discussion. The Honey Farm is Harriet Alida Lye’s debut novel, and I certainly look forward to future releases from this author.