Author: Amanda Cox
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 29, 2023
Beekeeper Beckett Walsh was living her dream, until her father's death sent her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with a new part owner of the family apiary--one who is looking to sell the property--and she cannot fathom why her father would put her in the position to lose everything they built together.
When Callie Peterson is named in the trust of a man she's never heard of, she's not sure what to do. Her fledgling business has just taken wing and her mother has reentered her life asking for help, making Callie's financial situation rather . . . precarious. She's sure she has no right to someone else's farm, but the money from the sale could solve her problems and give her the stability she's always craved.
With an entangled past behind them and an uncertain future ahead, Beckett and Callie must discover why they've been thrown together before all is lost.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
He Should Have Told the Bees is such a fabulous story, I kept backtracking to read the best parts over again.
Beckett Walsh and Callie Peterson are both left in the will of Beckett's father, which leaves Beckett devastated because she certainly doesn't want to sell her father's farm, but Callie's thinking is much different.
After not really connecting with Amanda Cox's last book, I was determined to read this one because everyone is raving about Cox's books. And boy, am I glad I did! I was hooked within the first few pages of this story. I was mesmerized by the happenings in the story, and I am so glad I signed up for this review.
There are so many things I love about this book. Cox pulled me into their journey as the ladies struggled through so many family unknowns. I love Callie and Beckett's characters, and I wanted to help them through everything they were facing.
My emotions were all over the place as I read this story. Cox had me crying because of something I was reading, and before I realized it, I was laughing at the humor. I loved all of the very detailed scenes throughout the book—scenes that made me feel as though I was living in the story right along with the characters. This is one of those books that made me want to pray for the characters. When you read He Should Have Told the Bees, you will see how realistic this story is.
This book is getting five stars from me, but it deserves so many more. I recommend Amanda Cox's new book to everyone who loves a good, clean Christian fiction book. I can't wait to go back and read Cox's other books, and I am looking forward to what she has for us in her next novel.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Marta Aldrighetti
George Walsh has a farm and bees. When he died, his daughter Beck decided to go on with the farm and the bees. She loves working with the bees. In the next few months, she discovers new details about her father's life, some good and some strange.
I chose to read this book because I love the bee world. It is so interesting and well organized. The book didn't disappoint me: the story is good, well written, and intriguing, with love, lies, illness, and regret. A Christian fiction book is mentioned in church in passing, but it isn't the main theme. I recommend this book. Enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Ewurabena Wilson
A beautifully written novel that deals with grief, fear, and abandonment in a captivating way.
Set in modern times, Amanda Cox's novel, He Should Have Told the Bees, is one of those novels that 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 on her father’s farm in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Bees and the farm animals on her recently deceased father’s farm are her companions, and the farm is her sanctuary. Callie Peterson is a woman who is on the brink of finding a place of belonging, but ties to the past make it difficult for her to move on. A catalyst for 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 and 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.
Reviewer: Adriann Harris
Amanda Cox took this reader on the best journey ever in her new book, He Should Have Told the Bees. It is unbelievable that this is only her third novel. Her first two were dual-time lines, while this one was told with flashbacks, which I loved. The journey she takes her readers on in this book is her best thus far. As with all of Cox’s stories, it has an everlasting message. Can one love when that love is not reciprocated?
Throughout this wonderful, heartfelt story, I learned about the lives of bees, and in between, my heart twisted in knots for Beckett and Callie as they struggled to come to terms with the lives they had been dealt. Both yearn for a mother who was broken and could not be there for either of them. In turn, both daughters were broken as well.
Beckett is unable to leave the farm without panic attacks, and Callie, with the weight of the world on her shoulders, is unable to accept help. Oh, how I wanted to reach through the pages and give each one of those little girls a hug and let them know that everything was going to be okay. Due to a trust that Beckett's father created, both girls are thrown together after his death. Each girl is awarded half of Walsh Farm. Eventually, they discover what God's true intentions are for them both.
I have to admit the favorite character I have ever read is Katya Amadeus Cimmaron of the Vesper Galaxy, aka Fern, who was going through her own life issues but managed to lift up and help all those she encountered. Kudos to you, Amanda, for writing such an incredible character.
He Should Have Told the Bees is a fantastic, page-turning story of finding family, courage, and healing that will resonate with you long after the story ends.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via NetGalley through Interviews & Reviews. I am under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
Cox has written a beautiful story about family. I'm going to call it a family legacy. One I thought interesting and won't soon forget. I don't think Callie and Beck will let me!
I loved each girl, and my heart went out to them in more ways than one. In my opinion, little Fern stole the show by pretending to be an alien and at first I thought she really was because she was so good at acting!
With family dynamics, secrets and learning to love and have hope, Cox really knocked me off my feet with this awesome novel! She has made me cry and smile at the same time, if that's possible. Along with the beautiful messages and descriptions of the scenery, I felt like I was right there with the girls.
I loved how the author showed us that secrets aren't meant to be kept. Beckett is a good teacher. She taught me much about bees. The bees and the many secrets in this novel kept me turning the pages. I wanted to see if they worked things out between them.
This book left me thinking about these characters long after I finished this wonderful novel. I'll look forward to seeing what she writes next! This is one that I would reread and will be going on my keeper shelf. I happily give this book 5 stars, and I highly recommend it!
My thanks to NetGalley and Revell for a copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This is a beautifully written story of two women struggling with the backlash of trauma, connected by a trust neither of them knows about. The connection raises questions and stirs the waters in each of their lives.
Callie has carried the burden of an unstable, addicted mother since she was a child. She’s become an expert at pushing back the pain and becoming who she thinks she’s supposed to be. Her goal is to create stability in her life and avoid drama.
Beck was abandoned by her mother and sheltered by a father who didn’t know how to help her other than to be everything to her until he died. Her security has become tied to their home and the bees they keep together. Anxiety ties her to the farm and stifles her ability to venture beyond her clearly defined borders.
They are cautious of each other, but the Father, who sees what each of them needs, may just bring about something unexpected.
This book tugged on my heartstrings, brought both tears and smiles, and made me reluctant to put it down. I highly recommend it as a picture of God’s perfect plan in the midst of our messiness.
I was given a copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley. This is my honest opinion of the book.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
Beckett Walsh is very distraught about her father's death. Her father was a beekeeper, and she was his apprentice. The weight of taking care of the bees, animals, and property was all left for her to maintain. This left Beck with a lot of work and responsibility. Add to this Beck was agoraphobic.
Beck's father hid a secret from her. She did not get to know her mother, and she found out that she and Callie Peterson would be co-owners of the farm.
Callie Peterson needed money. She was footing the bill for her mother's therapy. Callie was considering selling and was hoping Beck would go along with her plan. These girls had a lot to consider.
My interest in reading this book came from a great-niece. She is also a beekeeper. The honey that she gets from her apiary is so delicious.
If you like drama, this book is filled with the uncertainty that these young girls experienced. The end of the book tied up all the questions that I had.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"If anything ever happens to me, tell the bees . . . They need to know or they'll die too."
Apparently, there were things that Beckett Walsh's father should have told her, as well. Upon his death, her simple, solitary life was completely upended by a name on her father's will that meant nothing to her and yet had the ability to take away everything Beckett held dear. Could she survive apart from Walsh Farm? . . . . . she couldn't.
Miles away another young woman's life was equally disrupted after seeing her name appear on that document. Overwhelmed with expanding her own business while trying to navigate a life-changing decision, Callie Peterson is standing in the middle of a road she never knew existed. Could an inheritance be the answer to all of her problems . . . . or just the first of many questions?
Casting a wide net of appeal, this story immediately prompts a desire to share it with someone else. Its probing, plodding, unpretentious manner of carefully and tenderly pulling back layers may very well re-expose some pretty raw experiences (dysfunctional families can leave very deep scars). While providing a solid reminder that providence resides in a Person, whose ways are always higher than our own.
I received a copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
“Uncovering long-held family secrets may sting at first–but the result can be sweeter than honey,” states the bi-line on Amazon for Amanda Cox’s novel, He Should Have Told the Bees.
This three-hundred-and-thirty-six-page advance reader copy targets those who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction regarding family relationships, secrets, and abandonment. With no profanity, topics of addiction, disease, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a teaser of the author’s next book, acknowledgments, a biography, and advertisements.
In this current-day story set in Tennessee, twenty-eight-year-old Beckett is devastated when her father passes away. When she learns that Callie, a woman she doesn’t know and a few years older, is the co-trustee of the family farm, she cannot understand her father’s reasoning to share the farm. While Callie keeps secrets of her own past that involve Beckett’s mom, Beckett fears the worst that her cherished bee apiary will be taken away from her.
Dealing with abandonment, addiction, or agoraphobia can be earth-shattering to a victim, especially if they cannot move onward in life or only try to please others. I like how the brokenness of the women was weaved together with bees, a young precocious girl, an obtrusive aunt, and several men with heartfelt intentions. The story is tender in its approach to relying on God for the answers, even when one does not understand why.
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like the Christian undertones that include praying to God. Others might not like the sensitive subjects of parents rejecting and neglecting their young ones or turning to alcohol for temporary relief. I wish the ending were not predictable.
If you like a contemporary Christian read about how being stung by the past forces two women to leave their comfort zone, this is a deep, loving read.
Thanks to Revell and Interviews & Reviews for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
What a touching, engaging story! Compelling characters drew me in from the beginning and held me fast to the end, evoking myriad emotions.
One of my favorite characters is Fern. She is delightful, and her humor and curiosity lessen some of the emotional tension. I love the way the story unfolds as Beck and Callie discover their connection and deal with their own personal struggles.
Detailed information about bees and beekeeping adds interest and authenticity to the story. I love the analogies between the nature of bees and human nature and the resulting valuable life lessons.
Sensitive issues related to mental health, some of which lead to complex family dynamics, are handled with thoughtfulness and grace. I love the hints of Callie/Luke and Beck/Isaac's friends-to-more romances. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully crafted, absorbing story filled with hope. Highly recommend.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest review.
Reviewer: Jeanette Durkin
Wow! A story of compassion, courage and family. This story certainly tugged on a few of my heartstrings.
The subject of anxiety was brought up throughout the book. Amanda dealt with the subject of anxiety with a gentle and understanding touch.
Beck is just AMAZING! She faced enormous difficulties but she persevered and became stronger. I loved learning about beekeeping. It's fascinating. A beautifully written book that is a must-read!
I was provided with a complimentary copy by Revell through Interviews & Reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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