Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finn Boylan ~ A Book Review

 Every now and then it's a good thing to jump out of your comfort zone and try something new.  So, to that end, I asked for and received a copy of Mad Honey from  The only thing that they request is after reading the book that I leave a review!  It is my pleasure to do just that! 

Mad Honey, the title of this book, got me right from the start, because my Son-In-Law is a beekeeper and honey extractor extraordinaire!  Every time we are together he tries to "teach" me something else about bees that the average person would not know.  He is a wealth of information in that regard and takes his beekeeping very seriously.

But let me tell you, this book has so much more going for it than learning about bees and honey!  It is a story about family, family dynamics, coming of age and our acceptance of who is in our lives.  It's a love story on so many different levels too!

Mad Honey book cover

The story surrounds the lives of Olivia McAfee and her son Asher!  She is the wife of a renown Cardiac Surgeon and when Asher is born, life as Olivia knew it would be a joy and blessing for sure.  Like most things in life, nothing is "for sure" and Olivia's husband starts to show a distinct dark side to his personality.  When Asher is in the midst of a violent outburst, Olivia knows that she can no longer stay in this marriage.  

Lily Campanella is also starting new life in the tiny town of Adams in New Hampshire.  The last year of high school and it's a new beginning for Lily, who knows what it's like to have to start all over again.  She and her mom are paving a new road for both of them and hopefully this time the road will be smooth and without complications.

We all know that life is always full of complications and while we are rooting for these two moms and their children to have a great life, trouble seems to find them.

Asher and Lily are boyfriend/girlfriend, inseparable!  It's young love with all the hormones and angst that tends to rage during those years.  We can all remember going through some of those tough times, but in the case of Lily and Asher things are just a little more complicated.

I don't want to give too much of the book away in this review, but suffice it to say you will learn a lot after reading this book. It's not all about the honey bees either!  

This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good love story with a dark twist in it.  It will make you re-evaluate how you might handle different situations too.

Unconditional love is great when life is easy, but when things become difficult, sometimes that unconditional love has some conditions attached.  You will have to read in order to find out why.


                                         Image by Sheryl Maiorano from Pixabay 

This book from start to finish is 432 pages long and it could have been longer and still held me captive.  

After the story there is a lovely addition that I'm sure everyone will enjoy and that is about 10 pages of recipes where the key ingredient is, you guessed it, HONEY!

After learning all you did about bees and honey, you will be doubly delighted at the recipes included with this book.

Things like Beekeeper's Granola, Queen Bee Cocktail or a Bee's Knees cocktail!  How about Pork with a Honey-Lime Marinade?

The two that really have me wanting to bake are the Honey Loaf and Hope Cakes.  Both of these recipes are found in the book too!  

So with Mad Honey, you get a great story and a wonderful adventure into the world of bees, but you also get some sobering thoughts about relationships and surviving the ups and downs of real life too!  

This book gets 5 Stars (*****) from me and I would recommend it to everyone!  I'm sure you will learn more than you bargained for once you crack open the cover.  You will have a hard time putting it down again.

Oh an added bonus is that if you have an Audible subscription you can get this book for free!  What can be better than that?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I have read other books by Jody Picoult, so already know this book will be a good read. Enjoyed your review, Olivia, and a peek into the lives of the characters in 'Mad Honey'.

    1. Yes, she is one of my favorite authors as well, the addition of the second author is another part of what drew me to this book. There is a lot to think about as the story unfolds!

  2. Like you, I am always looking for a good book to read and appreciate recommendations for friends I trust! I love it when authors include recipes. Since my husband loves honey, I might need to join you in baking a honey cake (for my honey! Sorry, I couldn't resist)

    1. The subject matter is one that is front and center these days, with a lot of twists and turns. Family dynamics are very complicated, but the honey recipes are not! Would you like me to copy out the recipe for you?

  3. Olivia, your review has, indeed, piqued my interest in Jody Picoult's "Mad Honey." As an Audible subscriber, I appreciate your tip that this title is available free as part of my subscription, too! Although I no longer eat sugar in any form, including honey, there ar two excellent keto honey alternatives that I bet work work for the recipes in the book. Yum!

    1. I know that with your talents you will be able to modify these recipes to make them more in line with your Keto diet! I was thinking in those terms as well. Although, when I get honey from my SIL I will indulge myself just a little bit!

  4. This sounds like a captivating book that I would enjoy reading. The characters and storyline sound interesting and I like bees too! I love honey too so I would appreciate all those recipes!

    1. It's a great book and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Some really tough family issues happening in there too!

  5. I love Jodi Piccoult books. She always has a great way of tackling hard subjects. Thanks for the recommend.

    1. Yes she does tackle hard topics and this book is right in there with her others. Tough topics sometimes help us see other people's troubles in life and how to deal with them. Sometimes she's a light in the darkness too!

  6. I have had this one on my Wish List for quite a while. I expect to really appreciate and enjoy it. Thanks for sharing your take on Mad Honey. It confirmed for me that I need to grab a copy and dive in.

    1. Diana, you won't regret getting into this one. It tackles some really tough family issues when our children aren't necessarily what we hoped they would be and so much more.....and then there's the bees too! I'm sure you will love it!

  7. Oh another excellent book review - this sounds so good. I could easily get lost in this story! The tough family issues you say it tackles would bother me a little, but I'm so curious to know more detail.


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