Mad Honey by Jodie Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

I am not really sure where you would put this book if you had to categorise it. It might go in the courtroom drama section, it could be seen as a love story, it might be seen as an exploration of trans issues and it might also be read as a story about the danger of keeping secrets in families. They are never as secret as you think.

In fact, this book is of course all of those things written in two voices, the first Olivia’s the mother of Asher and bee keeper, the second being Lily’s, the girlfriend of Asher.

I have to admit to the book taking a little while to warm up – the courtroom drama is the best bit and so I did skip sections (!) and didn’t find it hard to keep the story line. In truth I probably read the first and last quarterish of the book, dipping in to parts inbetween. There was a section that felt like a lecture because I as the reader was not trusted to understand about trans people although it was dressed up as Olivia’s need for the information.

Lily and Asher had an up and down relationship which was used against Asher when she was found dead and Olivia’s view of everything was coloured by her abusive marriage and protecting her son. These issues play out in the courtroom where Asher is accused of killing Lily.

I have to say that the two writers have done a good job in blurring the lines between telling who wrote what although it isn’t hard to guess.

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