Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and 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.

I’m not normally a fan of the collaboration novel but I am a Jodi Picoult fan and I was incredibly intrigued by the blurb of Mad Honey so it was a must read. And I’m so glad that I didn’t overlook it just because of my fussiness!! Mad Honey is an absolutely amazing book that I can highly recommend!

One thing I will say is to not read any spoilers about the plot because I did and I wish I hadn’t! So all I will say about the plot is that it is superbly executed and beautifully written with attention to detail that shows the authors have done their research and have confidently applied it to their narrative. The characters are relatable and richly crafted-Olivia was my favourite and I found myself becoming totally immersed in her life as a parent and a beekeeper.

I didn’t really know much about bees or beekeeping before I read Mad Honey but I certainly do now! The descriptions of Olivia’s interactions with her bees and the challenges she faced were fascinating and I learned so much. But Olivia faces an even bigger challenge when her son is accused of murdering his girlfriend and it was this part of the story that really broke my heart.

Heartbreaking, thought provoking and relevant-I absolutely adored Mad Honey and know it’s a book I will return to in the future.

Mad Honey was published on 15th November 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Jodi Picoult is the author of 25 novels, with 40 million copies sold worldwide. Her last twelve books have debuted at #1 on the New York Timesbestseller list, including her most recent, THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS. Five novels have been made into movies and BETWEEN THE LINES (co-written with daughter Samantha van Leer) has been adapted as a musical. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit. She is also the co-librettist for the musical BREATHE, and the upcoming musical THE BOOK THIEF. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of numerous works of fiction and non fiction, including the seminal She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders (2003), which was the first bestselling work by a transgender American. She is a trans activist and a professor at Barnard College, and has appeared on reality TV shows and various US media in support of her friend Caitlyn Jenner. Her most recent book is the memoir Good Boy: A Life in 7 Dogs, published April 20 by Celadon/Macmillan US.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.