Sunday, 12 April 2015

Review: The Beekeeper's Daughter by Santa Montefiore

England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up in a rural idyll. The beekeeper's daughter, she knows her place and her future - that is until her father dies and leaves her alone. Alone, that is, except for one man who she just can't shake from her thoughts…
Massachusetts, 1973: Grace's daughter Trixie Valentine is in love with an unsuitable boy. He's wild and romantic, and in a band that might be going somewhere. But when tragedy strikes and he has to go home to England, he promises to come back to Trixie one day, if only she will wait for him.
Both mother and daughter are searching for love and happiness, unaware of the secrets that bind them. To find what they are longing for they must confront the secrets of the past, and unravel the lies told long ago…

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by Simon & Schuster (first published April 1st 2014) 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

 I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book had a lot of things that I really like in book. It went between different time frames to tell a story, there were unanswered questions, a war, and lost loves. How could I not like it?

As it turned out I did like it but there was something that was stopping me from loving it and I had a hard time figuring out what it was. Normally I will try to write my thoughts as soon as I finish a book but I took a little time to think about this one to find my answer.

My struggle was with all of the relationships in the book. I didn't feel them as deeply as I would have liked which made it hard for me to understand the choices that were made throughout. There didn't seem to be enough time spent between Rufus and Grace for the feelings to be of such epic proportions. Also, I really liked Freddy which made it hard for me to swallow that relationship. There are some stories where you can somewhat understand or accept infidelity but this one wasn't easy. I also wasn't feeling the relationship between Trixie and Jasper to the extent that was needed for this story either.

The author does a beautiful job at describing the setting in both 1932 England and 1973 Massachusetts and even later and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. I could see both places and picture myself there. Both places sounded absolutely beautiful. Significant historical events are somewhat glazed over making the story more about the romances and less about the history. I only say this because it may appeal more to readers of the romance genre over historical fiction fans.

In the end The Beekeeper's Daughter was a book that I was glad to have the opportunity to read. I enjoyed it but did find the moral part of my brain kicking in throughout.

About the Author

Born in England in 1970, Santa Montefiore grew up in Hampshire. She is married to historian Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

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