Thursday, June 06, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank


Title: Queen Bee
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Series: Lowcountry Tales, #12
Published: May 2019, William Morrow
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Summary: 
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's Carolina Lowcountry in this evocative tale that returns at long last to her beloved Sullivan's Island.

Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan's Island, tending her hives and working at the local island island. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she's a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware she's quite ill but that doesn't stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly's sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly's escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what's happening in their neighbor's home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they'll give her a solution to al the chaos. Maybe they will.

QUEEN BEE is a classic Lowcounty Tale -- warm, wise and hilarious, it roars with humanity and a dropperful of whodunit added for good measure by an unseen hand. In her twentieth novel, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us back to her beloved island with an unforgettable story where the Lowcountry magic of the natural world collides with the beat of the human heart.


My thoughts:  There are just some authors whose books are synonymous with summer and beach reads, and Dorothea Benton Frank is definitely one such author. While I have just come to start reading her in the last few years, I now look forward to each new book, knowing that I will be entertained with charming characters and a good story.

This latest book really took me by surprise. I knew I would enjoy it as I have done with all the books I have read so far by Dottie Frank, but this one really has quite a unique story-line to it. It's got quite a few different themes running through that at first glance, you wouldn't expect and yet, it's told with the usual charming and heartwarming style we have all come to love and expect.

I was completely and utterly enthralled by how much detail we learn about honey bees in this book. I loved it and never felt that it was over the top. In fact, I loved the way Dottie worked it into the story line in such a natural and effortless way. Sometimes it was just in Holly telling us why she was so protective of her bees and why she checked on then every day and made sure there were no mites or beetles around - if honey bees were ever to become extinct,  the whole planet would be doomed to starvation. Without honey bees, mankind only has four years! I actually had to look this up to see if it was true...and it is...I find this completely fascinating and utterly terrifying at the same time. So for all the beekeepers out there - thank you and please continue keeping your bees! I also loved how she would start just about each chapter with little bits of conversation that involved a fact or joke about the bees - again little nuggets of truth being imparted here.

The characters in this book are so well developed and memorable. These characters are ones that I will not be forgetting anytime soon - whether I liked them (which is the majority of them) or not (one or two fall into this category!). They each have such unique and dynamic personalities, especially the two little boys that live across the street from Holly. By gosh, if they didn't steal my heart. I could completely understand how Holly found herself falling in love with them and wanting to make sure all was right for them after their mama died. And then when things go upside down for them, of course she wants to help make things right...but is it her place?

This book made me laugh and tear up a few times. It had me shaking my head at some of the decisions that characters were making, and it had me laughing out loud at some of the antics that went on. It was such a good read, one that takes a hard look at family dynamics and love, and that it's not always what you might think it looks like. I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list!




About the Author: New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Authors Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook    |   Instagram
 
Purchase Links:   HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtags:  #TLCBookTours & #queenbee).




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3 comments

  1. Can't wait to read this one! Great review! You can't go wrong with Dorothea Benton Frank in the summertime!

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  2. I absolutely loved this as well, and DBF is my go-to summer author! Thanks for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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  3. I've never got to read this author. Thanks for the review.

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