Saturday, November 5, 2022

Mad Honey (Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan)

I've been reading Jodi Picoult for over 20 years, and up until recently, have absolutely devoured her books. The past few have been very disappointing however, so I went into Mad Honey quite tentatively. I'm happy to say that I again devoured this one.

Let's give credit where it's due though -- this book really came about because of co-author Jennifer Finney Boylan, who one night dreamt that she wrote a book with Jodi Picoult. She tweeted this exact fact, to which Picoult responded asking what the book was about. The rest is a match made in heaven.

In Mad Honey, Olivia McAfee escapes her husband's abuse and moves with her son, Asher, to New Hampshire to take over her deceased father's beekeeping business. Lily Campanello also moves to the same town with her mother, Ava. Upon meeting, Asher and Lily fall head over heels for each other, but soon, Lily is dead and Asher is arrested for her murder.

From the beginning, Picoult has written about issues in the headlines, and Mad Honey is crammed with them. I was worried about this because her books sometimes don't work if they focus on too many. But for some reason, this one does, and I actually feel that the book wouldn't be the same without all of them. This books is both heartbreaking and suspenseful -- Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan are a great team.