Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan is one of my recent favorites. It is told from alternating points of view between Olivia and Lily.
Olivia’s teenaged son Asher is being tried for the first degree murder of his girlfriend Lily. Lily’s point of view flashes back to the months before her death. Her memories show a loving relationship with a few cracks. Are these disagreements enough to result in murder? The prosecutor happens upon a possible motive once the medical professional shares his autopsy findings.
Both characters have secrets and abusive trauma in their pasts. There is incredible depth along with many twists in the story. Olivia’s work as a beekeeper adds to the story’s complexity. I really appreciated this symbolism (maybe because bee imagery was a main focus of my Master’s thesis on Sylvia Plath). Somehow, it all comes together with a nice touch of Olivia’s honey recipes at the end of the story. I’m happy that I bought this book so I can try out a few of them.
Readers will constantly question whether Asher is manifesting his father’s violence or if there is another suspect. For me, this book was both entertaining and enlightening.