by Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
Publication Date October 4, 2022
Published by Random House LCC US
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Genres: Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father's beekeeping business.
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult; Jennifer Finney Boylan is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it did not disappoint! I enjoyed the book very much, from the characters to the courtroom drama to the bees and the twist that took the book in a completely different direction.
Olivia McAfee is a single mother to Asher. Olivia and Asher moved to Adams New Hampshire, Olivia’s hometown when Asher was six years old. Olivia’s father kept bees, and Olivia returned to continue the business as well as escape the horrors of her marriage to a cardiac surgeon in Boston. Lily Campanello recently arrived in Adams, with her mother to escape a terrible situation back in California. Lily’s mother, Ava is a Forest Ranger, and also a single mother.
Asher and Lily start dating and fall in love. One day, Olivia gets a phone call from her son, telling her he’s in jail for the murder of Lily. Olivia can’t believe her son could or would do anything to hurt Lily, but in the back of her mind, she remembers the terrible temper of Asher’s father and the few times she had a glimpse of that temper in Asher.
I really enjoyed this one! I loved the courtroom drama, the little bits of information about the bees, and the small-town charm of Adams, NH. But most of all, I loved the characters. Two strong single mothers, Olivia and Ava, both sacrificed their own wishes and lives to ensure their children were safe and protected. Their strength and selflessness shine in this book, and I loved both of them.
Next is Asher and Lily, who both fall in love, and there is nothing like first love. They are each other’s strengths and support each other, their relationship seems solid until Lily is murdered, and the only suspect is Asher. Lily’s murder takes place early in the story, but we get flashbacks to her life back in California and her relationship with Asher throughout the book.
My favorite part of this was the courtroom scenes, I was on the edge of my seat each time a witness took the stand, as the tide of the case went back and forth in Asher’s favor and then against Asher. And it’s during the courtroom scenes that we learn so much about their relationship.
I also enjoyed all the trivia about the bees. I have 2 beehives in my backyard, and I still learned a lot about them from this book. But, more importantly, I liked how the bee trivia related to what was going on in the book. It was clever how the authors used the bee information and tied it into the story.
I will be thinking of this book, and these characters for a long time to come. I highly recommend Mad Honey to anyone who enjoys fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I like the simplicity of the UK cover. And it’s got bees on the cover.
Have you read Mad Honey? Is it on your TBR? Which cover do you prefer?