Book Reviews · Contemporary · Fiction

Review: The Beekeeper’s Secret by Josephine Moon

The Beekeeper’s Secret by Josephine Moon
Published April 1, 2016 by Allen & Unwin
RRP AUD $29.99

Maria Lindsey has secrets to hide. Living on top of a secluded mountain is a good way to hide from the world… until her past begins to track her down. The surprising and intriguing new novel about the astounding secrets we keep from those we love from the bestselling author of The Tea Chest.

‘Maria knew about guilt. It was a stubborn, pervasive and toxic emotion, and incredibly difficult to shake. Especially if really, deep down, you didn’t think you deserved to let it go.’

Maria Lindsey is content. She spends her solitary days tending her bees and creating delicious honey products to fund orphaned children. A former nun, her life at Honeybee Haven has long been shaped by her self-imposed penance for terrible past events. But the arrival of two letters heralds the shattering of Maria’s peaceful existence.

Pushing aside the misgivings of her family and friends, Tansy Butterfield, on the eve of her marriage, made a serious deal with her adored husband, Dougal. A deal she’d intended to honour. But, seven years on, Tansy is finding her current feelings difficult to ignore. And on top of those not-really-there feelings, Dougal wants to move to Canada!


Can I start by saying how adorable the cover is? All of Josephine Moon’s books (The Tea Chest and The Chocolate Promise) have such cute covers. I really enjoyed reading The Beekeeper’s Secret, it has such a refreshingly light, charming story with realistic, relatable characters. The character development is clear and natural, especially for Maria. The first meeting between Maria and her niece, Tansy was so awkwardly cute! Sometimes I felt the book introduced some characters a bit too quickly, so I occasionally got confused and had to back-track, but once I got the hang of who is who, I was able to really get into the story. Maria, one of the main characters of the book, is such a lovely person to read about, she cares a lot about the community and her bees.

Set in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the story itself was brilliantly written, it was highly descriptive with twists and a certainly unexpected conclusion. I really thought I knew Maria’s secret! How wrong I was. I typically don’t enjoy reading books that have strong religious themes, because most of the time it’s so constant and feels pushy, but while the book did have strong religious themes, it was written in such a way that, although the religion is definitely there, it wasn’t being shoved down your throat. I enjoyed the little bee-related facts throughout the book and learnt a lot about them.




I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.



buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery



Hello! I like to think of my books as being like a good chocolate brownie–rich, comforting, uplifting, but with a few chunky nuts to chew on. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia and now have the great pleasure of writing books for a living. I am published by Allen & Unwin in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. “Beekeeper’s Secret” is my latest title. I write about what I love and that often has a lot to do with food 🙂 I also think there needs to be more joy in the world so I hope to do that too. Enjoy!


Purchase Josephine’s other books:

chocolate promise        tea chest



2 thoughts on “Review: The Beekeeper’s Secret by Josephine Moon

  1. I just finished this, so I was very interested to read your review. It’s not a book I would have chosen, the cover screams “girly book” and the opening chapters and setting seemed to confirm this – Tansy’s internal monologue worrying about her relationships in SE QLD. But the book’s subject – the abuse of children in the Catholic church – is a pretty meaty one.

    Moon manages to negotiate the heavy subject with a light, readable touch that mostly worked pretty well and that I found enjoyable despite my initial lack of enthusiasm (it was someone else’s book club pick). The book ends up being somewhat unclassifiable, despite the publisher obviously having made a clear decision about where it will be in the bookshops. As well as it’s chick-litishness, it’s part thriller, part detective novel and raises some legitimate philosophical ideas.

    If I saw “The Tea Chest” in the library I’d probably grab that and read it out of interest to see if that’s more substantial that I was imagining as well.

    I agree with you that people should not be put off by the mention of religion – although it’s part of the plot it’s not out to convert you by any means.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ve summarised the genre pretty well! You’re right about the cover, but I thought it was a lovely, light cover to go with the light story 🙂


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