He Should Have Told The Bees is another outstanding general fiction offering from Amanda Cox. Family dynamics play a large part in Cox’s novels, and this one is no exception. Navigating a messy family is not easy, but it is especially difficult for Callie Peterson and Beckett Walsh. Unknown to each other, they discover their histories are wrapped in more layers of secrets than they anticipate. A mysterious trust established by Beckett’s father, throws the two together to navigate what looks like a future of broken dreams and loss of identity.
The unfolding of Callie and Beck’s lives creates lots of questions that I and the main characters were anxious to answer. 😉 But Cox takes her time in bringing various characters’ actions and motives to life. The slow pace of the novel is necessary to really get to know who Beck and Callie are. Beck deals with issues of abandonment, while Callie feels an obligation to rescue — all relating to their mother. It’s a sad story in many ways, but Cox brings about healing and wholeness. The provision and care of God is displayed throughout the narrative, often unknown and unsuspected by the characters. The ending is a dramatic and powerful look at how God can take what we want from life and make a better plan.
He Should Have Told The Bees is a book to be savored. Take your time with this one — it’s a gem.
(I purchased the audiobook version from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
This one was good but it was also bittersweet. I should have paid more attention to back blurb. As I tend to avoid books that involve the death of a fathers. Because for personal reasons that's not something I want to read about on the page. But for other readers who don't have that issue this book would be a good read.
This one started out a bit slow for me, or perhaps I just wasn't ready for a story that starts with the main character dealing with their grief. It is well written.
Amanda Cox has done it again! I love this book. As someone who wasn't really into bees pre-reading this book, she really changed me, I loved all the lessons learned from bees. Plus her writing is always fantastic. Her books are always five stars!
A fabulous contemporary novel with heart, and just the right amount of softness to bring readers back to the pages again and again.
Beckett Walsh has been working as a beekeeper with her father and loving every minute of it; they have a great rhythm and she can stay with him and the bees just the way she likes it. When her father dies suddenly, she is left alone except for the stranger he has left half of their family business to. Callie Peterson is just as surprised as Beckett when she finds out she is left half of the bee farm she never knew about. She has been working to keep her small business afloat after her mother reenters her life dealing with substance abuse and draining Callie’s bank account. Beckett is afraid of losing all she has left of her father if Callie wants to sell her half of the business and Callie just wants to find stability after all she has dealt with.
He Should Have Told the Bees is the newest by Amanda Cox, her third book, and amazingly her third 5 star read from me. Each time I pick up a book by Cox I find myself in for a treat, her writing is some of the best I have read for a newer author that doesn’t have a long catalog of books and has written for many years. Lately I have found contemporary novels to be some of the most moving for me with characters that grab you by the heartstrings and don’t let go. Beckett and Callie were such different characters and yet had enough in common that pulled them close even as they struggled to realize why. As the story worked its way to a conclusion, I found myself holding back tears as I was so moved by the writing. Amanda Cox is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors for a book that will move me and be a story I will not easily forget. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys contemporary novels that will move you far beyond the last page.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
A compelling story that readers will want to check out. A little slower paced at times but well done.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Amanda Cox does it again. I LOVED this book, both the main characters storylines were gripping and worth investing in. It was wonderfully written and such a beautiful story.
If you’d have told me a scene about bees would make me cry I never would have believed you, but it did and it was beautiful.
One of my favourite reads of 2023, can’t recommend enough.
Thank you to the author, published and NetGalley UK for a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
A beautiful piece of fiction. Beck has just lost her father, and isn't sure about how she'll handle life without him. Her agoraphobia makes it nearly impossible to leave their farm, but she's determined to make it work. Then she receives notice that her father has left the farm to her... and to a stranger named Callie. Callie is finally ready to take her homemade soap and candle business out of the kitchen and into a brick and mortar store when her alcoholic mother comes back into the picture and says she's going to give rehab a real shot. But Callie will have to pay for the treatment. The sale of the property would be more than enough to cover it, but the farm is the only home Beck's ever known. Their lives are now intertwined in a way no one could have expected, and hopefully they'll each end up so much the better for it.
This was a beautiful story, full of heart. Every character is complex and compelling. I connected with Beck's anxiety and Callie's need to fix everything. Very easy to relate to them both. I felt for little Fern and for Lindy. This story is realistically written and such a touching read. Lots of interesting info on beekeeping and bees in general. That bee scene near the end had me completely in tears, such a stunning visual. I will be looking for more from Amanda Cox, as this was a standout read for me. 100% recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
A beautifully written novel that deals with grief, fear, and abandonment in a captivating way.
Set in modern times, Amanda Cox novel, He Should Have Told the Bees is one of those novels which expertly captures the raw emotions of the main characters thereby drawing the reader into their lives.
What does an agoraphobic woman, an apiary and a woman healing from a traumatic past have in common, a decision that is about to bring their respective fragile worlds colliding. Beckett ‘Beck’ Walsh is a woman who is coping with grief and abandonment in her father’s farm at Sweetwater, Tennessee. Bees and the farm animals in her recently deceased father’s farm are her companion, and safety with the farm being her sanctuary. Callie Peterson is a woman who is at a brink of finding a place of belonging but ties to the past makes it difficult for her to move on. A catalyst of change is ignited when Beck and Callie realize that they are co-owners of the Walsh farm.
Secrets are uncovered and relationships formed as these complete strangers are faced with mending broken fences in their lives. I enjoyed reading this novel. There were some difficult sections to read based on what some of the characters have been through. Amanda Cox has done an excellent job of combining sweetness in the form of some lovable secondary characters and the painful aspects that the two protagonists have had to come to terms with.
I will recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn a lot about bees, relationships, cry a bit, laugh and smile while reading.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox is a fascinating novel. Two women are strangers to each other at the beginning of the novel. Soon, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways and they find lives they never imagined. This novel is full of hope. I highly recommend this novel to readers of many genres. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
What an extraordinary book! Beck is grief-stricken at the death of her beloved father. Living on their farm, the two of them worked together keeping the bees. Meanwhile, Callie has a history of trying to stay alive and covering for her alcoholic mother. Why would Beck's father's trust leave the two of them as co-owners of his farm? Secrets are unraveled, and Callie favors selling the farm in order to pay for her mother's treatment. Could Callie's mother also be the missing mother who had abandoned Beck? Can their faith help them? The ending is extraordinarily satisfying!
I appreciate being able to read this book, compliments of the publisher. The views expressed are my own.
This title is the third story I've read by this author, and possibly my favorite so far. The characters have much in the way of depth and growth over the course of the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the foray into beekeeping. This book would make a great choice for book groups.
Secrets, hardships, difficult relationships—these and more pulse with life in this exceptional story. When the rug is pulled out from under you and life does not flow as you expected, how do you cope? This complex story will grab you by the heart and take you on an emotional journey as the past and the future come to light for two very different women. A great choice for a book club discussion. I received a complimentary copy of He Should Have Told the Bees. This is my honest review. #heshouldhavetoldthebees #netgalley
This is a fascinating story about two women who share the same mother but never knew the other or even knew the other existed.
It is told from the third person and tells each woman's story. I loved that this story went so deep. The counselor in the book was so good and integral to the story.
This is a book that I did not want to put down. I couldn't figure out how it would end amicably for both. Yet I had some ideas, none of which were exactly how it played out.
Also I loved learning about the bees, So interesting and made the story fuller and completed it.
If you love a rich read with characters that feel real with real world problems, then this is your book.
Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book. The opinions are entirely my own.
This was a sweet little story about family, mental illness and coming together. Told in alternating viewpoints, we have Beck, whose father just died and she is trying to continue to take care of their farm, and Callie, whose mother is an addict and alcoholic.
I liked both of the main characters, and all of the other side characters and the story was good.
He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox
Callie and Beckett have no idea the other exists until each are named in the trust of beekeeper George Walsh. As the two women are thrown together, they slowly begin to understand what George intended and why.
Both have been damaged by the past. But with help from each other and their friends and family, they begin to heal and discover a new is possible.
This story had some unusual elements including an apiary, a tornado and a small “alien.” The characters were relatable and loveable, especially Fern. The author leaves some questions unanswered but provides a satisfactory and believable conclusion. I found myself wondering what would happen to the characters after the conclusion of the book, a sign of a well-written book.
I appreciate the complimentary copy of this arc, in return for this, my honest review.
A beautiful and moving story withe believable faith elements.
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't realize that the idea of 'telling the bees' was actually something that was done back in the 19th century. If something happened to a beekeeper or their immediate family, the bees would be informed of things such as marriage, death, or birth. Very heartfelt story using nature to teach a life lesson.
Thank you to Ananda Cox and Revell publishing for the arc version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"If anything ever happens to me, tell the bees . . . They need to know or they'll die too."
- He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox
Happy Pub Day to He Should Have Told the Bees! I love its cover, its title, and most importantly its story. Amanda Cox is an auto buy author, and her novels earn (rare) five star ratings from me, so having her third book in the world is a gift for readers.
Beckett Walsh has a pleasant solitary life on a farm with her father, keeping hives of bees. When he suddenly dies, she's devastated, even more so when she learns that she's inherited the farm along with Callie Peterson, someone she doesn't know. Who is this person? Why did her father include her in his will? Will Beck be able to continue living in the only place she feels safe?
I was completely drawn into this story from the first chapter. The author's professional background as a counselor uniquely equips her to create characters that are nuanced and complex. Telling the story in alternating chapters from Beck and Callie's points of view allows readers to know their thoughts, struggles, and motivations, all of which felt very realistic. And the secondary characters, especially Fern, Annette, and Beck's aunt, added humor, context, and depth to the plot.
This is Christian women's fiction at its finest. I especially appreciated the theme of mental health, elements of faith, and the character growth arcs. The facts about bees and beekeeping were very interesting and supported the theme; Ms. Cox's first-hand knowledge was evident without feeling like a seminar or information dump.
Thank you to the author and Revell Publishing for the review copy of this excellent novel.
When Beckett Walsh unexpectedly lost her father, she didn't think she might lose everything else too. Their farm has been her entire world since her mother left when she was a child, when the grief and insecurity of the loss drove her to become agoraphobic. Now her father has left the farm into the care of two people—Beckett, and an unknown woman named Callie Peterson.
Callie is on the verge of setting up a permanent store front for her online business, but her alcoholic mother may come between her and her dream—again. Rehab is expensive, and if her mother is willing to go, shouldn't Callie do all she can to help? But when she finds out a man she's never heard of has left her half a bee farm, maybe that will allow her to help her mother and grow her business without giving up anything.
But who was George Walsh and why did he leave his farm to two young women who didn't know the other existed?
This is a gentle story that explores big emotions and the needs of humanity. Both Beckett and Callie have endured deep wounds, and both are in need of help from others to help them overcome. But help isn't easy to accept when you've known loss and betrayal from the ones who should have loved you most.
I deeply related to Callie but I also loved Beckett's part of the story. I appreciated the way faith was woven in and truths were expressed by the supporting characters. The hints of romance and one young girl also brought a lot to the novel.
I'd recommend this for fans of contemporary and womens fiction. "It's possible for treasured things to come out of brokenness. Even if it doesn't happen the way any of us would have wanted. Even if it comes through loss." (Chapter 44)
I received my copy of the book from NetGalley. All thoughts in this review are my own.