Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

[For a solid year, I felt like I was living my life underground]

(Lake Union Publishing, 26 April 2016, borrowed from Prime Reading)


This is my first time reading the author.

I loved Burying the Honeysuckle Girls. It took a while for me to get into the book but once I did I couldn’t stop reading it.

I loved the setting, America’s Deep South, atmospheric, intense, steeped in darkness and sinister. This created a great backdrop for the events of the novel.

The characters are well written. I loved Althea, she is pretty messed up, vulnerable yet pretty tough as well. She’s complex.

The book is packed with twists and turns, surprises, shocks and revelations that left me stunned about what really happened to the women in Althea’s family, women they knew and female patients at the psychiatric hospital that were considered ‘unsavoury’.

I thought what had happened was terrifyingly real. I have no doubt that in the Deep South ‘spirited’ women were locked away at the whims of the men in their family.

I liked how the book ending as well. All the threads come together and the events reach a satisfying conclusion.



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