Mad Honey: A Novel
by Finney Jennifer Boylan Jodi; Picoult
Hardcover- $23.48

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Alternatingly heart-pounding and heartbreaking. This collaboration between two best-selling authors ...

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  "Loved the bee information" by Silversolara (see profile) 10/06/22

Olivia left her abusive marriage before her husband could harm her son, Asher.

It has been twelve years since the divorce, but Olivia is still haunted by Braden.

She also worries if Asher will have the abusive tendencies of his father and even more when he is accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Lily.

We meet these characters as we are treated to beekeeping terms and procedures and as we learn of Olivia's past with her husband, the relationship between Olivia and her son, Asher and Lily’s relationship, and Lily's past.

We also follow Asher in jail, the murder investigation, how everyone is coping, and wonder if he really did kill her or was setup.

The tension is very real as Asher’s attorney puts together a defense. You will be nervous along with the characters and react with them when the verdict is announced.

MAD HONEY is an excellent read by Jodi Picoult and co-author, Jennifer Finney Boylan.

It addresses domestic abuse, secrets we keep, relationships, life choices, and why people do what they do.

If you are a fan, do not miss this marvelous book.

It is outstanding for the research done about bees - actually fascinating about the bees, the descriptions of everything going on, and for making you feel every emotion the characters are feeling. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher in print and via NetGalley for an honest review.

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  "" by Joaniecoffman (see profile) 01/19/23

Very interesting and held my attention

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/28/23

I listened to the audiobook and was captivated by the story and the characters. It helped me to relate person to person with people who are transgender. T recommend it highly.

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  "This is a must read regardless of personal feelings." by thewanderingjew (see profile) 04/20/23

Mad Honey, Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan, authors, Carrie Coon, Key Taw, Jennifer Finn, narrators
Two authors have collaborated on this novel to bring a current controversial subject to the forefront of public consumption. It is currently, very much in the public eye, and needs to be explored and explained. Using two young teens, Lily Campanello, 16, and Asher Fields, 18, as the main characters, their two mothers, Olivia McAfee and Ava Campanello, both single parents raising their only child, both having escaped from abusive husbands who were not only dangerous to their well-being, but were becoming dangerous to their child, albeit for different reasons, coupled with a love that might have led to a crime of passion, the transgender world is exposed with all the consequences that are experienced by those who carry the burden of their problematic gender in a world that neither understands or accepts them. Are we all guilty, at one time or another, of rushing to judgment without fully understanding the situation with which we are faced?
I am not a fan of collaborative books, but the buzz about Mad Honey kept getting louder, in the same way Olivia’s bees got louder when they were disturbed by outsiders. I decided to read it and could not put it down. What is an outsider? This is a question raised by this novel. What is unnatural and what is natural is also front and center. Both questions need further exploration and explanation, since we in the world at large that are not part of the experiencing gender dysphoria, are blind to their needs and their pain. This is not to say one has to agree or disagree with the premises presented in this book, but it is to say that being enlightened about the subject might help the cause of the transgender movement that is aiming to bring everyone into some broader circle of acceptance and focuses also on an effort to reduce condemnation and ridicule.
The novel smoothly moves back and forth as it opens up the lives of both teens and their family issues. Asher’s father is portrayed as a Cardiac-thoracic Surgeon. He is well-respected at Mass General hospital. His mother is a bee-keeper, very much interested in the natural world. Asher is a popular teen, the captain of his hockey team, handsome and charming, a lady’s man at school. Mara his best friend from childhood, and Dirk his sometimes sidekick, welcome Lily into their circle when she suddenly arrives in their town. Asher and his mom moved to Adams, New Hampshire to escape from his father who had been physically abusive to his mother.
Asher’s friend Dirk is a bit of a smart-alec, and is not presented in a very likeable fashion. Mara has two moms. She seems well adjusted and embraces Lily as a close friend, as she had embraced Asher. When Lily and Asher become a couple, Mara welcomes their relationship since she and Asher have been more like siblings, as far as Asher is concerned. Dirk, seems to want a relationship with Lily too.
Lily’s mother works for the Forest Service. She is very much involved in preserving the environment of the creatures in the natural habitat in which she works. Lily’s father is a narrow-minded drunk who is a cruel bigot intent on refusing to accept who she purports to be from an early age. Born as a male, she has never felt comfortable in that skin. She has gone the whole nine yards with medical procedures that have transformed her into the sex she felt was hers. Essentially, Liam is now Lily and is growing more comfortable in her own body and in her world. In Adams, New Hampshire, where she and her mom have moved recently, to escape from her abusive father, Lily feels like she belongs for the first time in her life.
Both Lily and Asher’s moms work hard to rescue those at risk in the world in which they work. This courageous behavior extends into the world of their children. Both will sacrifice enormously to preserve their safety and security, to help them be accepted and to be productive in society. However, secrets abound in this novel, some from necessity, and some from personal grievances that cannot be forgiven. The world of the bees is opened up and explored and the devotion of the drones to the queen bee can be compared to the blind, devotion of a parent trying to protect a child from the world as some of their choices bring conflict, confusion and danger into their lives. Just as the drone will die for the queen, a mother will profess willingness to die for a child. Does that total sense of loyalty exist for the mother of a child, regardless of the child or the situation they become entangled in, or are there limits to the complete sense of devotion that the parent never knew about before or perhaps never allowed themselves to consider previously. Does doubt creep into their thoughts or is their support completely blind, regardless of circumstances and facts to the contrary.
When gender is explained in the natural world, it is more fluid than it is in the human world. What is natural in nature, and requires little help from anything but nature, is not so in the human world. In our world, outside intervention is required when gender dysphoria is present. Therefore, is it natural as it is in the world of nature, or is it contrived as natural since it requires intervention. That is a question that must be dealt with, absorbed and its conclusion accepted, in order for the premise of the book to be accepted, as well. To say more would be to give away the book completely and render the reading of it meaningless. So less is more, in this case.
Read this book, don’t resist its subject matter. It is an important topic to discuss and comprehend more fully. In addition to learning about gender confusion, the reader will be entertained with facts about bee-keeping and honey, the reader will learn more about a job working for the Forest Service. In this way the comparison that exists between our world and nature's world is elucidated, and we are enlightened further about issues that are current that have become problematic and require sensible solutions so we all live harmoniously, happily and peacefully, together.

  "too much going on" by cmassie (see profile) 04/21/23

I enjoyed the learning about the bees, but it had too many bad things happening in one book and was very bias but I guess that is an authors choice.

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