Monday, March 20, 2023

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

 I found myself enjoying this book more than I thought I would.  I have read quite a few of Picoult's novels and some I have loved, while others dragged a bit for me.  This one goes into the "loved it" category.   On Goodreads I tend to give a lot of 4's.  Even if I really liked a book sometimes it is just isn't enough to make me think, "This deserves a 5!", but this one did.

According to the Goodreads synopsis, this book is:

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

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father's beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Who can you trust and how well do you know even the people you are closest to?  Olivia has done a remarkable job starting over again in her hometown in the house she grew up in.  She loves her son and his girlfriend.  When the unthinkable happens and Asher's girlfriend is found dead and he is brough in as a suspect she starts to doubt both herself and even him.  Could his father's abusive temperament have been passed down?  Did he see enough as a child to rewire his brain?  Who would have wanted Lily dead?

Going back into the past in people's memories and seeing more and more about Lily and her life before coming to New Hampshire starts to paint a much larger picture, but there was a twist that I did not see coming that seemed like it answered the question of why Lily was killed, but at the same time did not.

I read this over the course of just a couple of days because I wanted to see the conclusion of the mystery.  I didn't even realize until I went to write this up that there were two authors for this book.  I listened to the audiobook and the thumbnail was super small for the book.

<a target="_blank" href=";keywords=mad+honey+jodi+picoult&amp;qid=1680897956&amp;s=books&amp;sprefix=mad+hone%252Cstripbooks%252C79&amp;sr=1-1&_encoding=UTF8&tag=booksbookseve-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=f4dfcc64cefb943eebde5514ffe3a029&camp=1789&creative=9325">Mad honey</a>

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