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September 16, 2023

He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

Uncovering long-held family secrets may sting at first--but the result can be sweeter than honey.

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

book cover of Christian fiction novel He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox
August 2023; Revell; 978-0800743116
audio, ebook, print (324 pages); Christian fiction

This beautifully written story is about bees but it's about so much more.  It's about family, forgiveness, and starting over.  The author has created two main characters who are multi-faceted and so different from each other but are really the same in their quest for family and acceptance.

Beckett Walsh's father has just died.  She has spent her entire life following in his footsteps and running the farm and the bee apiary.  As the book begins, she is covering the hives with cloth and telling each hive that her father has died.  There is an old belief that when a beekeeper dies, the bees need to be told of his death.
According to tradition, bees that are “put into mourning” help shepherd the dead into the afterlife, as well as reward their stewards with a generous honey harvest.  Beckett isn't sure how she'll be able to cope with the loss of her father because he's been her only parent since her mother left the family when she was young.  At least she knows that she'll always have the farm and the bees to keep her company.  Until she hears from the lawyer handling her father's estate and finds that he left his estate to her and an unknown woman.  Who is Callie and why was she given half of her father's assets?  Beckett is confused at the turn of events but so is Callie - why would a man she'd never met leave her half of his estate.  Her first thought is to sell her half so that she can put the money into her business of making soaps and lotion from honey.  Beckett can't buy her out and is distraught at what will become of her life.  As more of the mystery of their earlier lives is revealed, can the two women learn to accept each other and make a decision that benefits both of them?

This book was a fantastic look at two strangers who had to learn to work together for the future of both of them.  When they first met, they appeared to be very different but as the author peeled away the family secrets, we could begin to see that they are similar in the ways that count -- love of family and a strong trust in God.  This book has everything it needs to be an excellent read -- two well-written main characters, a mystery that is slowly revealed throughout the book, a bit of romance plus a cute young neighbor girl who bonds with Beckett  The story covers some hard topics but they are all handled with care.  This is a book that I won't soon forget.  Not only is it a great story but there is a lot of information about bees that I found very interesting.

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.  

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