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October 4, 2022

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

A soul-stirring new novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.

 Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
October 2022; Ballantine Books; 978-1984818386
audio, ebook, print (464 pages); women's fiction

Mad Honey
is Jodi Picoult's 29th novel. I am happy to admit that I've read and enjoyed every one of them - some more than others. Mad Honey has taken a place in my top 5 books by her - along with Nineteen Minutes and Small Great Things. The co-author of Mad Honey is Jennifer Finney Boylan. She's a new author for me and I plan to check out her previous 15 books. This is a book that you don't want to miss. The authors touch on some hot topics in today's society and look at them clearly and without prejudice while creating characters who are very real and believable.

Olivia and her son Asher moved from their successful life in Boston to the small hometown where she grew up.  They live in her father's house and she is continuing his bee-keeping business.  She and Asher live a quiet life after leaving her abusive husband.

Ava and her daughter Lily have moved to this new town for Lily to finish her last year of school and to start over where no one knows about their past.

Asher and Lily meet in school and fall in love with each other.  Both mothers are happy but worried about this relationship.  Olivia worries that her son may have the same abusive tendencies that his dad had and Ava is desperate to keep Lily's secrets.  (Note - this is a spoiler-free review so I won't go into any discussion of Lily and her past.)

One day Olivia gets a call that Lily has been murdered and that her son is being questioned by the police.  She knows in her heart that he's innocent but she keeps remembering her husband's temper and worries that Asher has the same temper.  The big questions that are resolved by the end are whether Asher killed Lily and what is the secret that she's hiding.  The suspense in this book will keep you rapidly turning pages but along with the suspense, there is a beautiful love story and an exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take to become the person we want to be.

Along with a wonderful story, there is a lot of information about beekeeping.  Not only are there interesting facts about bees but the author manages to tie her well-done research to connect with the character or situation that she's writing about
I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it.  I wanted to find out how it ended and find out what happened to all of my favorite characters.  When this book is published on October 4, you need to have your calendar cleared and tissue available. You're in for a fantastic read by a phenomenal author with a storyline and characters that you'll be thinking about long after the last page is read.

Buy Mad Honey at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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  1. It's going on my TBR list, I am also a Picoult fan, but haven't seen this one yet.