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The Honey Queen Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007373651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007373659
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description



‘Light-hearted and warm… Like a gossip with friends’ Essentials

Praise for Cathy’s novels:

‘Wise, warm, compassionate and full of characters I loved…it’s like having a great gossip with your best friends’ Marian Keyes

‘This top-notch storyteller once again cuts to the quick of modern women’s lives and their relationships’ Woman and Home

‘Entertaining, moving and as vivid as a screenplay – present a picture of the lives of Irish women which, like all good fiction, brings the truth into sharp relief’ Irish Independent

About the Author

Cathy Kelly is published around the world, with millions of books in print. A number one bestseller in the UK, Ireland and Australia, her trademark is warm Irish story-telling about modern life, always with an uplifting message, sense of community and strong female characters at the heart.

She lives with her family and their three dogs in County Wicklow, Ireland. She is also an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland, raising funds and awareness for children orphaned by or living with HIV/AIDS.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Honey Queen was a wonderful read! What I liked most about the story was that it could be read at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. There were times I raced through chapters of the book but most of the time I enjoyed taking the time to sit down for the afternoon, relax and read at a leisurely pace. Cathy Kelly is very talented as a writer, she has a way with words and creating a world that you can happily escape into for many hours. The scenarios, descriptions and settings are so intricately described that they became vivid in my mind and it was almost as though I was there watching everything unfold in front of me.

The characters were beautifully written, I enjoyed getting to know them throughout the story and only half-way through I felt as though I knew them as well as my friends in real life. They felt familiar to me, and it made me enjoy the story that much more because I really looked forward to reading about the journey each character went on, I felt as though I was living every moment with them. Lillie was my personal favourite.

This is a compelling read, and for most part it is a beautifully light read, however there are a few serious parts added in to the mix as well. I don't want to spoil it but there are many issues explored in the story, told in the form of the women's lives - marriage and redundancy being a few. In this case some of the scenes are very relateable and Cathy Kelly writes everything with care and sensitivity too. I'm sure this book will start many conversations and debates, I think it would be wonderful as a book club read! I very much liked the side-story of the bees and the honey competition, it was particularly interesting to read about and for me, a favourite part of this enchanting story.

The Honey Queen is a captivating tale that will warm your heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I'm sure many others will too, this is another fantastic release from Cathy Kelly!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book very nicely brought a little piece of Australia to Ireland, and it blended very well. There seemed to me to be many main characters in this book...each character proved to be valuable to the complete story, although I do think Cathy intended Lillie to be the central figure. The strength of the others such as Freya (adorable and who wouldn't want such a teen in their home?), Opal the loving motherly soul who didn't have a bad word to say about anyone, including her son's rude mother-in-law to be. Along with these strong characters were Peggy - from a troubled home ruled by an arrogant, mind-game playing father - Frankie, the career woman and her husband (Lillie's newly found brother) Seth and of course Bobbie and Fifi and the poor mixed up Meredith.
Totally lovable characters who left me with the longing to live in such an area with so many caring friends.
I feel Cathy is on her way back to writing stories like her first much loved books, and it's wonderful to see.
A lovely feel-good book and very enjoyable.
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By realovesbooks TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Honey Queen is my first book by Cathy Kelly. The cover is so delicate and fresh looking it is a perfect cover to compliment a beautiful book.

There are many different characters in this book each who have their own story-line to bring to this fantastic book. Although the story-lines are separate they all run alongside each other smoothly and you see each of the characters weave in and out of each others story-line. I was a little worried when the book began because you would just get into the flow of one set of characters and fall into their story-line , then all of a sudden it would change to a new character so I did wonder if I would begin to lose track of who was who but luckily as we get to know each character they were all easily recognizable. There wasn't a single story-line I didn't enjoy but my favourite was between Lillie, Seth and Frankie. It was great to see them bring life back to the garden of Sorrento Villa as well as seeing the relationships between the characters grow.

There are so many lovable characters in this book. There were also some tough emotional scenarios in a couple of the story-lines which the author writes about in a very emotional and delicate way. Although there is a lot going on in this book the story is written in such a beautiful pace that you really relax into the storyline easily making this a surprisingly quick read. My only complaint is this book is so heavy it hurts when it falls on your face when you fall asleep so may be a better idea to get on kindle to prevent injury!

This was a beautiful book which I enjoyed from beginning to middle to end. I will be hunting out more books by Cathy Kelly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found The Honey Queen a very slow to get into book. It is the stories of Lillie, Frankie and Seth, Opal and Ned, Meredith, Peggy and Kathleen, and Freya.

Those are all the main characters and that is a lot of characters to get to grips with, especially when they aren't especially interwoven.

I think this book would have almost been better had it been 4 or 5 shorter stories dealing with each set of characters and then a few overlap chapters. Would have definitely made it easier to remember what background and circumstances you are dealing with in each case.

Lillie, in Australia, has recently been widowed and has always known she was adopted. Her sons manage to trace her birth family, and discover she has a half brother Seth in Ireland. They communicate with Seth and he offers Lillie a place to stay for as long as she wants to get to know her, and to let her know about her birth mum.

Seth is having troubles of his own having recently been made redundant, and he and his wife, Frankie, had just bought a new house, a fixer upper. Lillie's visit is a blessing in disguise for many reasons.

Peggy has secrets of her own, but starts up her own Knitting and Crochet shop, and does have a few links to the other characters. There is a lot to Peggy's story but I feel like she was the neglected character and that more could have been made of her situation.

Opal, is mother of 3 grown up sons, and grown up estranged daughter Meredith. Opal and her husband Ned, also have taken in their niece Freya, who is 15 years old, and could no longer live at home, after her mother Gemma had a breakdown, following the death of her husband, Freya's father. Opal is a loving character, who is central to the book.

There are a lot of threads of stories in this book, but once you get into it, , the book is a lovely read, and by the end incredibly emotional.
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