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MAD HONEY by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan

Olivia fled her abusive marriage to return to her hometown and take over the family beekeeping business when her son Asher was six. Now, impossibly, her baby is six feet tall and in his last year of high school, a kind, good-looking, popular ice hockey star with a tiny sprite of a new girlfriend.

Lily also knows what it feels like to start over – when she and her mother relocated to New Hampshire it was all about a fresh start. She and Asher couldn’t help falling for each other, and Lily feels happy for the first time. But can she trust him completely?

Then Olivia gets a phone call – Lily is dead, and Asher is arrested on a charge of murder. As the case against him unfolds, she realises he has hidden more than he’s shared with her. And Olivia knows firsthand that the secrets we keep reflect the past we want to leave behind ­­- and that we rarely know the people we love well as we think we do.


Title : Mad Honey
Author : Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan
Format : Physical
Page Count : 454
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : November 15, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Do you know your nearest and dearest?
Nature or nurture
Bees, honey, sad with a little sweet

First, there are a bunch of content warnings for this book that may make this a tricky read for some folks, please check those out online.

Mad Honey had a lot to tell the reader, sometimes in a blast of shockwaves and other times it teased out an issue with great poignancy and focus. This was a tough read but utterly engaging, it was educational without being preachy and it made you question up from down, black through to a rainbow of grey.

At the heart of this story were three characters, Olivia (mother), Asher (son) and Lily (girlfriend). This story took a journey of various stages of past and present through the eyes of these three characters. I liked each of these three with differing warmth and an ebb and flow of trust and distrust for some. This was a tragically sad read but hopeful too.

The tension in this read was pretty high, things unravelled quite early, so the whole read had you on the edge of what…w h a t…WHAT! Various reveals came, most I guessed but they were no less impactful for the suggestions that were laid through the story. I couldn’t guess the ending however.

These authors have written a read that impacts and teaches while whisking you on a most satisfying and thrilling read.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to educate everyone about your right to exist in the world.

Thank you to Hodder Books and Tandem Collective for the review copy.

4.5 stars, rounded up.

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