Review: 'The Beekeeper's Secret' by Josephine Moon (2016)
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!
In 2014 I was introduced to author Josephine Moon when I got the chance to read and review her debut novel ‘The Tea Chest’, which I really enjoyed (click here to read my review). In 2015 I also read and reviewed her second novel ‘The Chocolate Promise’ and today I’m really excited to share my review of her latest release, ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret’! While I’m quite simply a big fan of Josephine’s writing, I also love how her publisher Allen & Unwin makes reviewing her books a real experience. I remember my copy of ‘The Tea Chest’ came with some tea and other great goodies, the same goes for ‘The Chocolate Promise’ and ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret’ even came with some honey! Needless to say, I was incredibly looking forward to checking out this new Josephine Moon read and had my fingers crossed for another great read!
Maria Lindsey has been through a lot in her life, but she has found her place at Honeybee Haven where she mainly occupies herself with earning money for an orphanage in Cambodia. Whether it’s going to the market or tending to her bees, Maria is content and gets on with what needs to be done. Until she receives two letters that shake up her life as she knows it and might uncover secrets she’s not sure she wants to share with the world. Thirty-year-old Tansy is struggling with what she wants with her life; is she happy? Does she want to have children? When her husband Dougal reveals his job will require him to move to the other side of the world for two years, Tansy realises it is time for her to get her priorities straight and decide what it is she wants exactly.
Wow, Josephine Moon really is a simply fantastic storyteller and after having read all of her novels so far I think ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret’ has to be my new favourite. I loved everything about this novel and was fascinated by the story from the first page until the last. The book focuses on two main characters: ex-nun Maria and bedroom decorator Tansy. Two very different characters, each dealing with their own issues, but connected to one another in a way as well. I don’t want to give too much away about the story, but it grabbed me straight away and I just loved going through the pages, discovering more and more about Maria’s past and everything going on in the present for both Maria and Tansy.
The book has a beautiful setting and the author really managed to divide the book into a good mixture of both scene setting and dialogue. Next to that there’s also a combination of genres this book falls into, because it’s women’s fiction with a touch of romance and a focus on family but also a good dose of mystery and intrigue. I also love how I always learn things from Josephine Moon’s books, in this case I learned a lot about bees and honey, which I had absolutely no idea about before I picked up this novel. I could go on about all the things I really enjoyed about this novel, but I think the best thing is just to advise you to go out and pick it up yourself. ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret’ is a lovely warm-hearted and incredibly enjoyable read about family, making choices, and finding happiness. A fabulous read by Josephine Moon and so far definitely one of my favourite reads of 2016!