Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Honey Queen by Cathy Kelly

4 Star

It’s easy to fall in love with the beautiful town of Redstone – the locals wave and chat to each other, the shops and cafes are full of cheerful hustle and bustle. And amidst all this activity, two women believe they are getting on just fine.

Francesca’s boundless energy help her to take everything in her stride, including a husband who has lost his job and the unwelcome arrival of the menopause, which has kicked in – full throttle.

Peggy, on the other hand, has always been a restless spirit. But now, focused and approaching thirty, she has opened her own knitting shop on the town’s high street. It’s a dream come true, but she still feels adrift.

When Australian-raised Lillie finally makes it back home to Ireland, she is drawn right into the heart of Redstone’s busy, close-knit community. But what she thought would be an ending is actually just a beginning – all is not quite as it seems in the picturesque town.

Soon, Lillie’s hard-earned wisdom will be called into play as she helps new friends navigate unchartered territory…

Kathryn - 4 Star

I am still feeling the warm and fuzzies from this novel. I think there’s something enchanting about Cathy Kelly’s writing- she puts warmth into her characters and gives them instant personality and appeal.  You can’t help but feel attached to them from the moment they are introduced and I always feel a little sad when her stories come to their eventual conclusion.

The other charming thing about Cathy Kelly is the way that she weaves the stories together until all the pieces are touching and you are never quite sure where and how the characters and stories will intersect until you're nearing the end. In The Honey Queen, I wasn’t sure that Lillie and Opal’s stories were ever going join up but in the end they found a way to support each other and when Lillie returns to Australia there is a bond between the two families back in Redstone that seems to be mutually beneficial.

I was interested in each one of the story lines so it made the novel a quick read- jumping from one person to another can sometimes be frustrating but Cathy Kelly is so good at writing in the format that you don’t get lost- you just sink back into the next section and relish each new detail you’re given.

Much as I’ve enjoyed Kelly’s novels before I think this one’s details might stick with me. I was really interested in Opal’s niece- she was original and thoughtful and I liked what she brought to the story. I felt the same way about Peggy- although her lack of trust did frustrate me I was utterly hooked on her story and was so hopeful that the outcome would be good. 

Each one of the separate plots in The Honey Queen holds intriguing lines to explore and warm characters that make you want to cheer them all on.

All opinions are our own.

Connect with Cathy Kelly:
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