I really was not thrilled with this one. It's hard to put my finger on the reasons. I have a problem with happily-ever-after. This book ended the way I wanted it to end, but it just felt flat to me. OK, so Daddy Dearest walks away and leaves her with the Daughters of Mary. Good! But isn't that just another abandonment? How does Daddy Dearest running away from his problems make her happy, while Dear Departed Mother of the Decade's departure nearly destroyed her? It doesn't make sense. Nor does the explanation of Dear Departed Mother's "tragic" death.
What this book could have used most was a plot. Or at the very least an outline. Tell me where we're going, and I'll figure it out. Take these fabulous characters somewhere, anywhere. Show me their journey. Show me their growth. I don't know, maybe I would have been more satisfied with a cliffhanger.
Finally, we have the bees. The damn bees and the damn honey, and none of it fits. Is Ms. Monk Kidd trying to tell me the hive found its queen? Is she trying to tell me that life has to sting a bit before you get to the sweet stuff? Lord love a duck, is this author ever in love with her metaphor!!! I love analyzing books for the message - I can spend hours, even days, digesting and dissecting the message - but this one lost me.