Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

This book gripped me from the very first page and didn't let go until I devoured every last word. Althea's story was captivating, heartbreaking and full of mystery. She's turning 30 and knows that if she doesn't uncover the clues to her family's secrets, she will suffer a similar fate as her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, each one suffering a mental breakdown and passing away by their 30th birthdays.

 

With nothing but a cigar box of small mementos from her family's past given to her by her mother right before she passed, along with an urgent message, "Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She'll find you, I think, but if she doesn't, you find her." Althea, fresh out of rehab, is determined to find answers before her birthday.

 

Some of Althea's poor and very dangerous decisions were at times frustrating. She reminded me very much of someone close to me in a similar situation who has been in and out of rehab, battling drug addiction, depression and has lied and stolen from family countless times. Althea's character was well written and she felt very real. I wanted to see her succeed, discover the truth and overcome her demons.


Althea's journey to uncovering the mysteries and dark secrets of her family's past kept me glued to the pages. I loved how the story alternated between her and her great-grandmother, Jinn. In the story, Jinn made and sold her own honeysuckle wine. I love a good book and a glass of wine so I needed to pair this beautiful book, just look at that stunning cover, with a honeysuckle wine. The problem is, no one makes anything close to Jinn's top secret recipe in my neck of the woods, so I had to improvise.

 

Carpenter's writing kept me guessing through all the twists and turns right up until the incredibly satisfying ending. I would recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a good mystery and if you are a wine lover like me, pairing this book with a delicious Moscato or Riesling infused with aromas of honeysuckle may help transport you back in time to the 1930s in Alabama where Jinn's tragic story begins.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

-SW