A BEE IN HER BONNET – Jennifer Beckstrand
The Honeybee Sisters, Book 2
The Amish Community in Bienenstock, Wisconsin – the Present
The three Christner girls, Lily, Poppy, and Rose, lost their parents when very young. They went to live with their grandparents, but that was not a happy arrangement. Fortunately, their Aunt Bitsy came to the rescue, buying a honeybee farm with insurance money she had once taken out—a very un-Amish thing to have done, but then she had left the community twenty years ago and lived as an Englischer . No matter that their neighbors consider her odd, the girls love her as much as they love each other. And now the eldest, Lily, who once had a poor image of herself, has found her true love. All three girls work very hard tending the bees and harvesting the honey. They are known for their delicious breads and cookies—all sweetened with honey, of course.
While Lily and Poppy both protect soft-hearted Rose, their timid sister, Poppy is the feisty one. In grade school, she was known to punch mean boys when they teased Lily. While she hasn't used her fists in years, she's still one to be wary of . . . as their neighbor, Luke Bontranger, knows. Poppy has a stubborn streak and a sharp tongue. Even when Luke rescues her from harm, she's ungrateful and argues she didn't need him, though next day she bakes him a pie.
Luke is a good friend of Lily's fiancé, Dan, and when they learned someone was vandalizing the Christners' property, Luke, Dan and another friend, Josiah, joined up to help the girls. One morning they found their chicken coop totally destroyed, and the three boys came to help. But it is Luke, the carpenter, who starts building a new one. And this is where he and Poppy really butt heads. You see, Luke truly believes women are soft and weak and should stick to women's work. Poppy believes she's as good as any man. She demands Luke let her help build the new coop. And so they go with Poppy getting into trouble—not always of her own making—and Luke rescuing her; all the while they challenge each other.
Does this go on forever? Does Poppy never see Luke's good side? Does Luke begin to see how the docile Amish girls he's always favored are slightly bland? You will never be bored with this tale . . . and that's for sure and certain.
Up next is Rose's story, LIKE A BEE TO HONEY, coming in September. As different as the three honeybee sisters are from each other, book three is bound to be just as fresh and new, but with the same excitement, humor, and warm relationships as marked the first two. It's lovely having them come out back to back—no long, anxious wait for the next one.