Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Book Review: Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Mad Honey by Picoult and Boylan book cover and review
I usually don't bother to even read the blurb if I see Jodi Picoult's name, and Mad Honey is no exception. As usual, an excellent choice.

The moms, Olivia and Ava, have both had rough relationships and broken marriages. For different reasons, they end up in a small town in New Hampshire.

Olivia's son, Asher, and Ava's daughter, Lily end up in a relationship. When Lily ends up dead, Asher is accused of murder.

That's the short story, but of course, there is much more. Asher's father was abusive and Olivia watches his every move wondering if Asher will show violent tendencies. She has doubts about his innocence.

Lily was born Liam, and maybe that's a spoiler, but if you know Jennifer Finney Boylan, it's not that much of a spoiler. So did Asher know she was trans? Is that why he killed her?

Picoult writes from the perspective of Olivia and Boylan writes Lily's part. The writing is seamless, and I didn't even realize that fact until I read the afterward. Lily's story gave me such a new perspective on gender identity. That was a big takeaway from Mad Honey for me. Another takeaway is a lot about beekeeping, which is Olivia's occupation. Fascinating. And, as a side note, Queen Elizabeth II died while I was reading Mad Honey, and I read an article about how the Queen's beekeeper had to tell the bees that she died. (You'll get it when you read the book.)

The story is gripping and it's been so long since I read a book during which I decided to give up doing something else to read. Lately, it's been the other way around. Mad Honey is a great love story, a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and a family story.  I loved it and highly recommend it.

Published by Ballentine, October 4, 2022
eARC obtained from NetGalley
464 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. 5 stars means I'll add this one to my TBR list, thank you for the recommendation!

  2. I was that way with with Danielle Steel for all of the 80's & 90's so I can relate. This sounds very good and you got me interested! I'm thinking about adding to it my list.

  3. I thought it is Mad Honey, I mean the real honey which is found in Nepal and Turkey. :) madhoney.shop


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