Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank

This must be my South Carolina week. First, Patti Callahan Henry's The Favorite Daughter, and then Dorothea Benton Frank's Queen Bee about a woman who doesn't feel as if she's a favorite at all. The two books couldn't be any more different, yet they both have wonderful characters who learn about family and love.

Holly McNee Jenson has created her own little world on Sullivan's Island. At thirty, she's still trying to get a job teaching in the elementary school. In the meantime, she has her honey bees and their hives, the flowers she grows, her needy mother to tend, and the two little boys next door who lost their mother recently. She adores Hunter and Tyler, and wouldn't mind being a little closer to their father, Archie. And, she tells all her woes and complaints to her bees. While she's getting by on the island, she knows her sister, Leslie, is happily married, rolling in money.

Then, Leslie comes home with her own outrageous story about her marriage. Both sisters, though, see that Archie's boys are in trouble. The widower falls for a scheming witch who doesn't really want stepchildren. Although the sisters hatch plots, it's Holly's bees that listen to her stories and take action.

And, Leslie herself needs to take action to save her marriage, so she and their Momma head to Las Vegas to catch up with Leslie's husband, Charlie. While the two women find a flamboyant world there, they also find resolution to their lives. Momma is as sparkly as she's ever been. Leslie has decisions to make. And, back home, Holly's bees get her in trouble with the new wife next door.

Queen Bee has so many connotations in this story. Momma's daughters refer to her as QB, Queen Bee. Holly presides over her bee hives. There are anecdotes and stories about the bees, the queens, and the hives. But, Queen Bee is actually a wonderful story about finding your role in life, and the people who are there for you. It's about finding your own family hive. It's touching and warm and funny.

While it took me a little while to appreciate Holly's voice, once Leslie returned home, the book sucked me in. Once again, Dorothea Benton Frank welcomes readers to Sullivan's Island with warmth and humor and characters you want to meet on the island. Stop in and have some sweet tea and a story with Queen Bee.

Dorothea Benton Frank's website is www.dotfrank.com

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank. William Morrow, 2019. ISBN 9780062861214 (hardcover), 414p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to participate in the TLC Book Tour.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Loved this book! Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my faves, although I do have to admit I have enjoyed some of her books way more than others. This one gets a big thumbs up from me.

Gram said...

Since both of you recommend this one, I will have to try it. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome from both of us, Gram!

Grandma Cootie said...

Thanks so much for this review. I have moved Queen Bee way up on my TBR stack. I always loved Dorothea Benton Frank's books, but as Kaye said, there was a little dip where I didn't enjoy them quite as much. Really looking forward to Queen Bee now.

Lesa said...

This one is just fun, Grandma Cootie.

Sara Strand said...

I agree, once Leslie was introduced I was totally sucked into this one, I really enjoyed it as well! Thanks for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

Lesa said...

Thank you, Sara! I really enjoyed this book.