Book Review: The Beekeeper’s Secret by Josephine Moon

The Beekeeper’s Secret…

About:

Maria Lindsey has secrets to hide. Living on top of a secluded mountain is a good way to hide from the world… until her past begins to track her down. The surprising and intriguing new novel about the astounding secrets we keep from those we love.

‘Maria knew about guilt. It was a stubborn, pervasive and toxic emotion, and incredibly difficult to shake. Especially if really, deep down, you didn’t think you deserved to let it go.’

Maria Lindsey is content. She spends her solitary days tending her bees and creating delicious honey products to fund orphaned children. A former nun, her life at Honeybee Haven has long been shaped by her self-imposed penance for terrible past events. But the arrival of two letters heralds the shattering of Maria’s peaceful existence.

Pushing aside the misgivings of her family and friends, Tansy Butterfield, on the eve of her marriage, made a serious deal with her adored husband, Dougal. A deal she’d intended to honour. But, seven years on, Tansy is finding her current feelings difficult to ignore. And on top of those not-really-there feelings, Dougal wants to move to Canada!

With captivating characters and an intriguingly tangled mystery, The Beekeeper’s Secret celebrates families in all their joys and complications.

 

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My Thoughts:

The Beekeeper’s Secret was a really well thought out story, evenly paced, with likeable characters in honest situations. And the Beekeeper’s secret turned out to be quite a secret indeed, but Josephine Moon handled the unveiling of this in a timely fashion. Rather than drawing out its disclosure, she let us in on the secret quite early on and the story was all the richer for it.

 

It’s hard to review this novel without spoiling the story for others, so I feel a bit restricted in what comments I can fairly make. Suffice to say, the topic presented at the heart of this story was done so in a very sensitive and well thought out manner. Brought up Catholic and still tied loosely to my religion, I wasn’t sure how I would respond to the issues brought up in this novel, but I found myself appreciative of the author’s intent as well as her skill as a writer to take on such a subject without appearing to be pushing an agenda. Very well done. Josephine Moon has firmly lodged herself into my wall of favourites.

 

As to the bees. I didn’t know much about bees and honey making prior to reading this novel so I enjoyed all of the factual information that was woven into the story. There was a perfect balance of fact presented to compliment the fiction, a skill Josephine Moon certainly excels at. Likewise, the characters were enjoyable, Tansy endearing and Maria intriguing. I enjoyed Tansy’s relationship with her step-son; what could have been a difficult relationship to navigate owing to their close age gap was handled with grace and confidence by Tansy. She truly was a likeable character and I was championing for her right from the beginning. I was full of admiration for Maria and her situation certainly got my mind churning and thinking about other nuns who may have found themselves in similar scenarios. The supporting characters all filled their roles well and provided for lively scenes throughout.

 

The Beekeeper’s Secret was a book club pick and it turned out to be an ideal choice. There are plenty of issues, particularly of the moral variety, to discuss and disseminate, and the story on a whole is very engaging and heart warming throughout.

 

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