Queen Bee
New York Times-bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to the American South in this latest novel about friendship and love that is full of heart, humor, and rich description.A woman wounded by her past comes to Sullivan's Island, South Carolina to find new meaning in life and to find herself. As she takes up a new hobby of beekeeping, she begins to come into her own and rebuild her life. When a new friend comes in and she finally allows for something more than just "friendship", everyone will realize that life could use a little taste of sweetness.In what is sure to be another classic, Dorothea Benton Frank weaves a fun tale of self-discovery, love, and friendship with her signature charming wit, indelible poignancy, and hallmark themes.

Queen Bee Details

TitleQueen Bee
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 28th, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062861221
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, American, Southern, Chick Lit

Queen Bee Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Kicking off my summer reads with a Lowcountry story. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I always kick off the summer months with a Dorothea Benton Frank novel, and I have since she first came on the scene as an author, and I was living in South Carolina. She has her own special, fun style, and I couldn’t wait to read her latest effort. As always, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, we have a couple kinds of queen bees in this novel! The first is the matriarch of the family, Katherine, known as QB; she is mom to Holly Kicking off my summer reads with a Lowcountry story. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I always kick off the summer months with a Dorothea Benton Frank novel, and I have since she first came on the scene as an author, and I was living in South Carolina. She has her own special, fun style, and I couldn’t wait to read her latest effort. As always, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, we have a couple kinds of queen bees in this novel! The first is the matriarch of the family, Katherine, known as QB; she is mom to Holly and Leslie. She is a diva, but she also grows during this novel and becomes a champion of a main character. Holly is a beekeeper (more bees!), and now that’s she’s over thirty and unmarried, she’s feeling extreme pressure to find “the one.”Leslie has recently left her husband and has quite the story to tell. Sullivan’s Island is described in lush and accurate detail. The characters are charming, quirky, and heartwarming. The storytelling is the kind you relax into. I love how the bees enriched the story. Everyone grows and changes, and there’s an honesty in that growth. I don’t want to risk spoilers, but DBF is back with another classic novel, a story of family, heartbreak, as well as healing and hope. I loved every ounce of it and hope this bodes well for the rest of my summer reading because of it! We southerners are superstitious, after all! 😉 I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    🐝ᴄʜᴀʀᴍ. ᴡɪᴛ. ᴡᴀʀᴍᴛʜ.🐝Dorothea Benton Frank has crafted a delightful story bursting with the perfect amount of heart, quirk, and southern charm. Holly is 30 and she still lives at home caring for her unappreciative mother who is a bit of a hypochondriac. Holly is certain she will eventually land her dream job as a teacher at Sullivan’s Island elementary school. She is also certain that she plays an important part in the lives of the two little boys that live next-door, and a little less certain t 🐝ᴄʜᴀʀᴍ. ᴡɪᴛ. ᴡᴀʀᴍᴛʜ.🐝Dorothea Benton Frank has crafted a delightful story bursting with the perfect amount of heart, quirk, and southern charm. Holly is 30 and she still lives at home caring for her unappreciative mother who is a bit of a hypochondriac. Holly is certain she will eventually land her dream job as a teacher at Sullivan’s Island elementary school. She is also certain that she plays an important part in the lives of the two little boys that live next-door, and a little less certain that she will ever capture their fathers heart. Not only is Holly busy taking care of others, but she is also a beekeeper. Holly not only cares for the bees, but she also has a special bond with them. Holly’s sister Leslie left the island as soon as she could needing to escape their demanding mother the “queen bee“. But there have been big changes in Leslie‘s life and she finds herself returning home. What follows is a Beautiful story about two sisters and their mother who reconnect, regroup and grow together. Loved this book! The setting of Sullivan’s Island was so lovely. The author grew up on the island and her love and knowledge of this charming place really shown through. The characters in this book were so wonderful, so colorful, and so well-developed. I felt as though I would know them if I were to run across them walking down the street. Not only that I’d want to spend the day with them, shoot I’d even love to see those bees. And the food, can’t forget that. I’d love for Holly to invite me over for dinner and feed me some of that good old southern cuisine. Holly was a fantastic character and I loved her growth throughout the story. She was so good with Hunter and Tyler and I really adored those kids! Loved all the little bee fax that she told them at the beginning of each chapter. I really actually learned a lot about bees that I did not know. Holly‘s mom “the queen“ was a very colorful character and I really loved the direction that her character took throughout the story. Leslie oh Leslie I am still not certain about some of your choices. This really is the perfect book to kick off your summer with! A beautiful setting, amazing characters, and a fun storyline with a lot of heart. There were several laugh out loud moments. This book certainly took a turn I was not expecting. A wonderful uplifting feel-good story that will put a smile on your face.🎧🎧🎧 Shannon McManus is the perfect narrator for southern fiction. She does such a good job with all the voices I really love her male voice and her little kid voices as well. There is something so warm and friendly about Shannon’s voice that really adds a little something something to these heartwarming books!*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book *** 🐝
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Is it really summer without a new Dorothea Benton Frank novel to read? I love returning to the Lowcountry and the quirky families that live there every summer with Frank's novels and Queen Bee is no exception. Queen Bee brings us an actual Queen Bee (in the form of a grouchy old mother) as well as the Queen Bee of the Honeybee variety - and 3,000 others in the hive! Sisters Holly (she of the beekeeper fame) and Leslie are both struggling to find themselves, Holly with her widower neighbor and hi Is it really summer without a new Dorothea Benton Frank novel to read? I love returning to the Lowcountry and the quirky families that live there every summer with Frank's novels and Queen Bee is no exception. Queen Bee brings us an actual Queen Bee (in the form of a grouchy old mother) as well as the Queen Bee of the Honeybee variety - and 3,000 others in the hive! Sisters Holly (she of the beekeeper fame) and Leslie are both struggling to find themselves, Holly with her widower neighbor and his young sons and Leslie, coming to terms with the fact that her husband Charlie wants to perform as a Drag Queen in Vegas. At the heart of the story, like many of Frank's other novels, is family and identity. With our cast of quirky characters that somehow shouldn't fit so seamlessly in one story, yet do, you will feel at home and find yourself with a smile on your face and not quite ready to say goodbye to this crew. Thank you to William Morrow for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I was very disappointed with this book. I thought the characters were shallow, the plot was underdeveloped, and the dialogue was beyond silly and cliched. This book felt like Ms. Frank tossed it off to fulfill a contractual obligation, without putting forth much more than minimal effort. She had so many random story lines going on, and not one of them was particularly plausible or given any depth. It was more like a writing smorgasbord that a fine literary meal. I found myself being annoyed, and I was very disappointed with this book. I thought the characters were shallow, the plot was underdeveloped, and the dialogue was beyond silly and cliched. This book felt like Ms. Frank tossed it off to fulfill a contractual obligation, without putting forth much more than minimal effort. She had so many random story lines going on, and not one of them was particularly plausible or given any depth. It was more like a writing smorgasbord that a fine literary meal. I found myself being annoyed, and resorting to skimming just to get through it.
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  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    January 1, 1970
    (Free review copy) I’m a diehard DBF fan but this one just wasn’t my favorite of hers 😢 so much happening without a lot of depth. I’m excited for her next one being up to her usual standards though!
  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:My mother sighed so hard then that the National Weather Service issued small craft warnings.Cleopatra could not have put any more intention and effort into the seduction of Mark Antony. The only things I didn’t have were a CD of Barry White’s and a scented candle.There are no more big choices at our age. You’ve made them. Now you have to wait for a promotion to do just what you’re doing, except more of it, for some stupid incremental raise. It’s a big fat snore.Leslie stayed home Favorite Quotes:My mother sighed so hard then that the National Weather Service issued small craft warnings.Cleopatra could not have put any more intention and effort into the seduction of Mark Antony. The only things I didn’t have were a CD of Barry White’s and a scented candle.There are no more big choices at our age. You’ve made them. Now you have to wait for a promotion to do just what you’re doing, except more of it, for some stupid incremental raise. It’s a big fat snore.Leslie stayed home the night before Archie and Sharon were to be married, probably to give her liver a rest. I was pretty sure the Gentlemen of the Tap were holding a candlelight vigil at Dunleavy’s Pub, praying for her swift return.The gates of hell opened wide when she croaked… I smell sulfur.In the Lowcountry, we believed bad things happened in threes. Becoming the third wife of a man twice widowed was a terrifying prospect.My Review:I smirked and wore a near constant grin as I gleefully perused this delightfully engaging book. It was a treasure chest overflowing with wry wit and slyly deployed levity. I adore Dorothea Benton Frank’s amusing and captivating Lowcountry stories, this is the sixth one I’ve read and I have cherished each and every one of them. Her writing style is comfortable and engaging, yet deceptively insightful and cleverly observant. But it is her unforgettable, uniquely drawn, and deliciously peculiar characters that seal the deal for me. I will eagerly await her next offering.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What a blend of characters and tales.I had a tiny bit of difficulty getting into this book, but once in it, I could not put it down. The author managed to blend three separate stories and lives into one complete book without me being annoyed or feeling as if the book was more of a series of novellas. This is something other authors have a lot of trouble with.We have Holly who considers herself as a spinster at the age of thirty who is in love with her across the street neighbor. He is just Wow! What a blend of characters and tales.I had a tiny bit of difficulty getting into this book, but once in it, I could not put it down. The author managed to blend three separate stories and lives into one complete book without me being annoyed or feeling as if the book was more of a series of novellas. This is something other authors have a lot of trouble with.We have Holly who considers herself as a spinster at the age of thirty who is in love with her across the street neighbor. He is just soooo wrong for her, but as their story-line unfolds you will enjoy, be unhappy, be angry and then be relieved with how this all plays out.We have Leslie whose life is becoming more and more bizarre and has just left her husband, but I can't tell you why because this was not discussed in the synopsis and I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say it all works out. And that this was one of the most unusual and intriguing parts of this book and teaches us great lessons in learning to live with those we may find a tad 'different'.Then we have the Queen Bee also known as QB (which I kept mistaking for Quarter Back!) -this is Holly and Leslie's mom. She starts out as the typical Southern Diva, but her character grows tremendously and she becomes one of the funniest and wise characters in this book. Then there are the bee's - the honey bee's to be specific -I learned a lot about them and I found the relationship between them and Holly (the beekeeper of these hives) to be a remarkable one.I loved this book and even though I have read this via an ARC, I will be buying my own copy AND I will also be reading more by this author.HEA's abound and that makes me a happy camper -not much angst, (a little bit at the start) not enough to make me want to stop reading; self-reflection...well Holly does a lot of that but she finally grows to accept herself for who and what she is.Great summer read. Happy reading!*ARC supplied by the publisher.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    This was the second book I have read by Dorothea Benton Frank. One of the things that should be noted is that she has the ability to develop characters in such detail that you feel like you've known them for years. Another plus for me when I read one of her books is the fact that they are set in the Charleston/Low Country part of the South Carolina coast. Since I grew up vacationing in this area, I love to read her books and feel like I'm back there again. Queen Bee was a lovely story about real This was the second book I have read by Dorothea Benton Frank. One of the things that should be noted is that she has the ability to develop characters in such detail that you feel like you've known them for years. Another plus for me when I read one of her books is the fact that they are set in the Charleston/Low Country part of the South Carolina coast. Since I grew up vacationing in this area, I love to read her books and feel like I'm back there again. Queen Bee was a lovely story about realizing what is important in life and going after it. The evolution of the main character, Holly, over the course of this book was the most notable. Next to her, her mother's transformation was most impressive. What they each had to go through to get to their newer and happier selves was trying at times but well worth the effort and difficulties. Even though Holly's sister, Leslie, also makes some life-changing adjustments, she still has a long way to go in some of her newer choices...in my opinion. I enjoyed how the author wrapped the events together in such a way that it impacted all of them - - the two sisters and their mother. In other words, it was almost a "one for all, all for one" type of mentality after a while in the story. It was rewarding to see that because they were very disjointed in the earlier portion of the book.I found this book quite enjoyable and highly recommend it to others. It was a light and easy read and would be great going into summer for poolside or beach reading.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    Queen Bee is the first Dorothea Benton Frank novel I have read. I felt like the author and I could be good friends by the end of the novel. I pictured being at the family's home in the novel drinking sweet tea and watching the bees buzz around the flowers. Queen Bee is a really quirky, fun novel for summer. I look forward to reading many more novels by the author.Centered around two sisters and the mom, or "Queen Bee" as they call her, the the three ladies are enjoying life on Sullivan's Island Queen Bee is the first Dorothea Benton Frank novel I have read. I felt like the author and I could be good friends by the end of the novel. I pictured being at the family's home in the novel drinking sweet tea and watching the bees buzz around the flowers. Queen Bee is a really quirky, fun novel for summer. I look forward to reading many more novels by the author.Centered around two sisters and the mom, or "Queen Bee" as they call her, the the three ladies are enjoying life on Sullivan's Island in South Carolina. Leslie moves away after she is married to a childhood sweetheart. What she doesn't know is that he has a secret love for impersonating a woman and performing on stage. The other sister, Holly, is a homebody and beekeeper trying to overcome a painful past. The mom goes into a deep depression after Leslie leaves the island and won't get out of bed. All three must overcome their fears so they can lead the life they want. You can follow me at https://quirkybookworm.azurewebsites.net.My review for the novel will be posted to my blog on Friday, May 10th, 2019. Thank you for the free advanced copy!
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Kathy Barrow
    January 1, 1970
    A longtime fan of Franks who eagerly awaits her new release each summer. Prepared to be entertained with a fun read, this was a great disappointment. It focused heavily on the social/political issues of the day which bombard us in every form of communication from news to commercials, printed ads and commentaries. There is no escaping it and a summer read should be exactly that, an escape from the depressing, negative drudgery that consumes our culture!
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  • Jo Dervan
    January 1, 1970
    Holly Jensen, a 30 year old young woman, lived a very placid life with her mother on Sullivan’s Island. Holly had a teaching degree and hoped to get employed as a teacher at Sullivan Island Elementary school one day. In the mean time she substitute taught at the school when needed. Holly also took care of her Mom, Katherine aka Queen Bee. Katherine had taken to her bed 11 years earlier after Holly’s father left home and then divorced her. Holly also was a beekeeper and kept a bee hive in her yar Holly Jensen, a 30 year old young woman, lived a very placid life with her mother on Sullivan’s Island. Holly had a teaching degree and hoped to get employed as a teacher at Sullivan Island Elementary school one day. In the mean time she substitute taught at the school when needed. Holly also took care of her Mom, Katherine aka Queen Bee. Katherine had taken to her bed 11 years earlier after Holly’s father left home and then divorced her. Holly also was a beekeeper and kept a bee hive in her yard. She sold the honey locally.Holly had an older sexier sister, Leslie, who was her Mom’s favorite. After Leslie married her wealthy husband Charlie, she moved away to Ohio with him. The house next door was owned by the MacLeans. Carin MacLean had died tragically in a car accident months before the story began. Carin left her 2 young sons, Hunter and Tyler, in the care of her hapless but highly educated husband Archie. Holly was in love with Archie and hoped that by helping with the sons, she persuade him to marry her. Unfortunately Archie was not interested in Holly as anything but a helpful neighbor.Then Archie met Sharon and fell madly in love. Sharon was a self absorbed woman who was not interested in being a mother to Archie’s sons or children of her own. However Archie quickly proposed and married Sharon. Around the same time, Leslie came back home and confessed that her husband, Charlie, had exposed a dark secret. Leslie was not sure she wanted to stay married to Charlie.The bees played important roles in the story after Holly expressed her dissatisfaction with Sharon to them.This was an interesting story as the author shared many facts about bees and beekeeping. However I had a hard time with the character of Holly. Her lack of ambition and her slavish devotion to a man who continually used her to care for his kids without any compensation or gratitude, were annoying. I was surprised that Holly’s highly opinionated mother didn’t point this out to her but then her mother was also need Holly to be her servant as well.I have read other books by this author but enjoyed them more than this one.This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityThis book is a fun read and a hot mess at the same time. I would have thought those two things would be mutually exclusive, but after reading Queen Bee, they definitely are not.Let me explain…But first, I’d like to perform a bit of public service. The blurb for this book bears virtually no resemblance to the actual book. The book the blurb represents might be a very good book, but it certainly isn’t this book. At all.To begin with, Holly Jensen doesn’t come Originally published at Reading RealityThis book is a fun read and a hot mess at the same time. I would have thought those two things would be mutually exclusive, but after reading Queen Bee, they definitely are not.Let me explain…But first, I’d like to perform a bit of public service. The blurb for this book bears virtually no resemblance to the actual book. The book the blurb represents might be a very good book, but it certainly isn’t this book. At all.To begin with, Holly Jensen doesn’t come to Sullivan’s Island, she already lives there. In fact, she grew up there and hasn’t left except for college. Nor does just just “take up” beekeeping. She IS a beekeeper and she has been one for several years. In fact, she’s an established beekeeper who has well-maintained hives full of happy bees who give her plenty of honey to sell – as well as giving her a sympathetic ear – or a thousand ears – when life starts closing in..That new friend isn’t new, either. They went to school together. They just seem to have lost touch with each other over the years. As happens, even in small towns.It happens especially easily in this case because Holly has found herself shackled to Sullivan’s Island, taking care of her cantankerous mother, the actual Queen Bee of the title. That “friend” of hers is in the nearby town, a member of the local police.The person who does come back to town, because she’s been wounded by her present, not her past, is Holly’s sister Leslie. Leslie married Charlie, a man Holly refers to as “the wallet”, and blithely moved to Charleston. It seemed like Leslie’s marriage was perfect – at least self-absorbed Leslie made it seem that way.Then again, everything Leslie does is perfect, at least in the eyes of the Queen Bee. Holly resents her sister’s freedom, resents being stuck on Sullivan’s Island taking care of their mother, and resents her mother’s resentment that Holly isn’t “perfect” Leslie. Because it seems to Holly that Leslie can do no wrong and she, Holly, can do no right.When Leslie comes home, the three lives of the three women get forcibly kicked out of the ruts they’ve all been stagnating in – in more ways than one.Leslie’s back because her husband, Charlie the wallet, wants to make a new identity for himself as a female impersonator, and is off to a contest in Atlantic City to see if he has a chance. He expects Leslie to be enthusiastically supportive of his decision, even as Charlie begins changing their entire lives to live as Charlene rather than Charlie.(And that’s the last time I’ll refer to Charlie as either Charlie or as “him”, because from this point forward a gender-neutral pronoun is required.)Leslie is more than a bit confused by the changes, and both she and the Queen Bee are at the “not just no but hell no” stage of, let’s call it, non-acceptance.Then things change. A lot. Charlene wins a prize in the contest, and decides to stretch their wings by moving to Las Vegas to participate in even more contests. Charlene want to make a career out of this, and really, seriously want to become a star.Leslie, hesitatingly, reluctantly, moves from “hell no” to being more open-minded, and ultimately more supportive. Holly, completely open-minded about Charlene, is just plain grateful that Charlene’s need for a support team and especially a costume designer gets the Queen Bee out of the depressive, self-destructive funk she’s been living in for years and temporarily moves her from Sullivan’s Island to Vegas to help Charlene take the first steps into this new world.Meanwhile, back home, Holly is on her own and feeling relieved and miserable at the same time. On the one hand, she has the freedom to do what she wants when she wants without her mother’s constant negativity and harping.On that other hand, what Holly wants is to finally get close to the widower next door. She’s been helping him out with his two young sons ever since his wife died, and she’s hoping there might be something more there. She fancies herself in love with him.He fancies himself using her as an unpaid babysitting service while he marries a woman who makes the Wicked Witch of the West seem like a saint. That the original Wicked Witch is killed by a house falling on her head makes this resemblance surprisingly more relevant.The bees fix everything for their queen. It’s up to Holly to take it from there.Escape Rating B+: I have mixed feelings about this one. Lots of them. All of them.First things first, this is a terrifically fast and fun read. It goes really quick, at least in part because there’s so much happening – and because so much of it is unexpectedly off the wall. And not in a bad way, either.I will say that Holly is a doormat for way too long. She doesn’t grow a spine until 2/3rds of the way through the book, and listening to her internal dialog about Arch-next-door gets really old, really fast.Admittedly, from the way that Holly’s mother treats her at the beginning, Holly’s spine has been pretty much surgically removed every single day of her life. It’s a bit of a miracle that she manages to grow one at all. But doormats do not compelling protagonists make – at least not for moi.However, this is really a three-pronged story. Holly has a third, Leslie has a third and the Queen Bee has a third. And that’s where things get interesting. And also completely off the script of that blurb.Leslie’s story moves from negativity to acceptance and resolution. It’s a reasonable progression and also a positive one. In the end, Leslie supports Char and the changes in their life while coming to the conclusion that as much as she loves the person, she is no longer sexually attracted to them as a spouse.The resolution of Leslie and Char’s story takes as much “book time” as Holly’s, and is more interesting to follow.Then there’s the Queen Bee’s story. The QB gets a new lease on life by going to Vegas. She also finds love with the genderqueer Suzanne Velour, an older female impersonator who has taken Char under their rather capacious wing.That romance is sweet and surprising for all concerned, including the QB and Suz themselves. Unfortunately for the story, that romance feels a bit “shot out of a cannon” and proceeds too quickly. What we see of it is terrific, but it just happens too damn fast.There’s a bit of “woo-woo” type magic between Holly and her bees – not enough to tip this into paranormal, but enough to make it feel like things happen on Sullivan’s Island, and in the Lowcountry, that just don’t happen anywhere else.In the end, I liked the book, and had a good time reading it. I’ll admit to some serious questions about why two thirds of the story, featuring two genderqueer characters, were completely erased from the blurb. Anyone picking this book up based on the blurb is going to be surprised. Hopefully as pleasantly as I was, but surprised nonetheless.Holly is the one who sums up this story, and all the relationships, best, when she says that “love comes in every color, shape, and size”, and that every life needs a little bit of sweetness. And she’s right.
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  • Asheley
    January 1, 1970
    I knew I wanted to read this when Dorothea Benton Frank's name was attached. I cannot tell you how much I love her stories and settings. Holly is thirty years old and still living at home with her mother, called the Queen Bee by everyone around because of her personality-she's loud, a bit rude, she's become less active recently and therefore gained some weight, and she's a hypochondriac. Holly's sister Leslie got married and left home years ago, leaving Holly to take care of her mother by hersel I knew I wanted to read this when Dorothea Benton Frank's name was attached. I cannot tell you how much I love her stories and settings. Holly is thirty years old and still living at home with her mother, called the Queen Bee by everyone around because of her personality-she's loud, a bit rude, she's become less active recently and therefore gained some weight, and she's a hypochondriac. Holly's sister Leslie got married and left home years ago, leaving Holly to take care of her mother by herself. This is when her mother spiraled downward in terms of her health and her personality. As a result, Holly has become a little more of an introvert and homebody over time, but she's honestly happy that way thankyouverymuch. She has dreams of becoming a teacher at Sullivan's Island school, but there's a waiting list for the position, so for now-aside from beekeeping-she works in the bakery at the local Publix grocery store, which she really enjoys. OH! She also has a pretty big crush on the neighbor next door, recently-widowed Archie. Holly has been close and neighborly with Archie's two young boys since they were born, and she has really taken them under her wing since they lost their mother to a tragic car accident last year. She loves cooking for them, taking them to the nearby park, and helping them with their homework after school. Holly has a wonderful personality. I just love her so much. It's true that she spends probably too much time on her mother and not enough on herself, but I adore the way she dotes on the young boys next door. In the beginning of the story, I thought there would be a romance between Holly and Archie, but it was very early in the book that I realized that would not be the case at all. In fact, that particular romantic relationship took a backseat to the well-being of young Tyler and Hunter, and Holly's role in making sure that they would be taken care of in the future. I wasn't really expecting this but there were parts of this storyline really made me laugh out loud. Another huge part of the plot is that Leslie comes back home after something major threatens her marriage. And with both of her girls now back under her roof, Momma undergoes a personality change for the better. I LOVE seeing a family dynamic change for the better, and I love the way Ms. Frank writes family issues in her books. Throughout this family's path, there are a few characters along the way that kept me smiling and it was these characters that ushered particularly Leslie and Momma through some character development and growth. I wasn't always sure where this part of the story was going either, but I love where it ended up. What I loved most is Ms. Frank's infusion of humor throughout. She always does this so well!One thing that I didn't expect that absolutely DELIGHTED me: I knew that Holly is a beekeeper but I didn't expect that the bees would play such a huge role in the story! Holly talks to her bees daily and she really has a loving relationship with them; she sort-of treats them like they're her pets. They are truly a character in this book! My daughter is a huge fan of bees in general and an advocate for honeybees and their role in the ecosystem and how important they are to humanity (she researches them and is considering continuing her research in college) and kept asking me about the bees in this book as I progressed further into the story. Every single thing about the bees in this story turned out to be a super-fun experience for me!This book is filled with love and acceptance and humanity and even a little bit of hive mentality. The entire thing was full of surprises and I loved it, but to be fair, I expected to because I am a huge fan of Ms. Frank.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, William Morrow Books!Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    After a few detours in her recent books, Dorothea Benton Frank returns to Sullivans Island off the coast of Charleston in her newest book, Queen Bee.Thirty-year-old Holly Jensen lives with her critical and demanding mother, whom she and her sister Leslie have dubbed Queen Bee, or QB for short (and behind her back). Holly volunteers at the local library while she anxiously awaits for a teaching position to open up at the local elementary school.Holly is a beekeeper, with a huge hive of bees in th After a few detours in her recent books, Dorothea Benton Frank returns to Sullivans Island off the coast of Charleston in her newest book, Queen Bee.Thirty-year-old Holly Jensen lives with her critical and demanding mother, whom she and her sister Leslie have dubbed Queen Bee, or QB for short (and behind her back). Holly volunteers at the local library while she anxiously awaits for a teaching position to open up at the local elementary school.Holly is a beekeeper, with a huge hive of bees in the backyard. She uses the honey from the hives as gifts for family and friends. She also has a (not-so) secret crush on Archie, the recent widower who lives next door with his two young sons, Tyler and Hunter. The boys love Holly, and she loves them, often keeping them after school, helping them with homework, and baking them cookies.The wheels start to come off the bus when sister Leslie shows up with a tale of marital woe. At the same time, Archie quickly marries Sharon, a local dentist and evil stepmother who gives Cinderella's stepmother a real run for her money.Queen Bee has Frank's trademark humor, with a few scenarios that are downright giddy. We have female impersonators, a trip to Las Vegas, Cher's long-lost "sister" Char, and bees who appear to listen to the woes of Holly and take revenge on her enemy. (I just saw Cher in concert, so I really got a kick out the Char storyline.)In addition to the humor, there is romance and and pathos. As the mother of two sons (now grown), I really felt for Tyler and Hunter as they mourned the loss of their mother and tried to understand their evil stepmother.There is also a lot of character growth in this novel, with the Jensen women taking stock of their lives and finding new paths forward.If you're looking for a good summer read, pour yourself a large iced tea, grab a copy of Queen Bee, head out to the most comfortable chair on your porch, and prepare to lose yourself in sunny Sullivans Island for a few hours.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Beekeeper Holly has a fascinating life keeping track of her bees but she's about to set sail on a whole new life when her bees become all the rage and talk of the town after a possible bee attack.Now we have one dead and questions surrounding the entire bee environment that has been Holly's life and bread and butter.It turns out the claims were not justified thankfully but that doesn't mean its all over at least not in being stung because another type of insect is about to sting and for Holly it Beekeeper Holly has a fascinating life keeping track of her bees but she's about to set sail on a whole new life when her bees become all the rage and talk of the town after a possible bee attack.Now we have one dead and questions surrounding the entire bee environment that has been Holly's life and bread and butter.It turns out the claims were not justified thankfully but that doesn't mean its all over at least not in being stung because another type of insect is about to sting and for Holly it's the 'love bug' that makes her weak in the knees.I loved this entire set up with the moving and memorable relationships that each member shares.Archie, Leslie, Charlie, they were truly all fantastic and lively individuals that really made the story gel together nicely.The ending with Ted was pure magical bliss...Get yourself a copy as this is a must read for 2019!
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  • Lillian Rhaine
    January 1, 1970
    As a member of Library Thing, I was asked to review the e-book copy of Dorthea Benton Frank's newest book, Queen Bee.Since I do not own a Kindle, I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPhone. My favorite book written by Mrs. Frank is The Last Original Wife. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy and do so today. I highly recommend it!I found this book easy to follow, and it kept my interest which is hard to do. I'm impatient. I enjoy the fact that Mrs. Frank describes the scenery in such vivid detai As a member of Library Thing, I was asked to review the e-book copy of Dorthea Benton Frank's newest book, Queen Bee.Since I do not own a Kindle, I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPhone. My favorite book written by Mrs. Frank is The Last Original Wife. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy and do so today. I highly recommend it!I found this book easy to follow, and it kept my interest which is hard to do. I'm impatient. I enjoy the fact that Mrs. Frank describes the scenery in such vivid detail in this book. It's not dark or heavy, and could make a wonderful summer read. I felt it was comforting in a sense, when the MC talked about honey from bees and sipping a cup of hot tea.I would recommend rewriting the dialogue, simply because I felt it was slightly choppy. In the literary world, authors like myself cringe at the use of exclamation points. We also cringe at speech tags such as said, asked, thought. Oh, and using the word literally, is literally not a good idea. Mrs. Benton feels passionately about bees, and I find that refreshing. Her MC in this book talks to her bees about her problems! How adorable. If we didn't have bees, how would we have watermelon? I enjoy watermelon more than I cared to admit. I found it interesting how as a reader, I was able to follow along, and be a part of, the MC's life. I was in the scenes as she shopped, I won't spoil the fun with the MC's father. I certainly didn't see that plot twist coming. Bottom Line: Buy the Book.**ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for the review.​Xx LillianMy review for this book can be found on Library Thing, & Goodreads
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  • April Dodd
    January 1, 1970
    I miss her early books.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book! Another captivating story by Dorothea Benton Frank. I read it in two days! Great beach read.
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank since I read her first book twenty years. When you start her books you know that you'll be back in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with a bunch of quirky characters and a great plot that will make you want to pack your bags and head to the beach.Queen Bee has a dual meaning -- its what sisters Holly and Leslie call their mother - a grouchy woman who has pretty much given up on life since her husband left her years ago. Even though Holly and Leslie are I have been a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank since I read her first book twenty years. When you start her books you know that you'll be back in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with a bunch of quirky characters and a great plot that will make you want to pack your bags and head to the beach.Queen Bee has a dual meaning -- its what sisters Holly and Leslie call their mother - a grouchy woman who has pretty much given up on life since her husband left her years ago. Even though Holly and Leslie are in their 30s, they are both struggling with their lives. Leslie lives with her husband in Ohio but when he tells her that he wants to perform as a drag queen, she is so upset that she returns home. Holly has stayed at home to take care of her mother. She has a crush on the man across the street and loves his children. She is also a beekeeper who talks to her bees (the other reference of the title) and her bees seem to listen to her. Her life is on hold - she is waiting for a job to teach at the elementary school, she spends a lot of time with her neighbor's two sons and she takes care of her mother even though her mother doesn't appreciate what all she does. When Leslie comes home, the dynamics in the household change considerably and begin to move the three women out of the ruts that have become their lives.There are two other important parts of the book that I need to mention - one is the setting. The lowcountry area of SC is described so beautifully and life on Sullivan's Island sounds wonderful. The other is the mention of the food that is cooked - fried chicken and green beans and lots of cakes and most important of all gallons of sweet tea are consumed through out the book.I really enjoyed the characters who felt like people that I know in my life. I especially liked Holly and all of the changes that she made throughout the book. I also enjoyed learning more about bees and beekeeping in this book which is always interesting to me since we have bee hives on our property (but I don't talk to the bees like Holly did)This was a wonderful new Dottie Frank book to get the summer of 2019 started.Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Chris Markley
    January 1, 1970
    When your life is not working out as you dream what do you do? Holly talks to her bees about her dreams and frustrations and how her Mama, the Queen Bee, is driving her nuts.A story of family and change and finding what really makes you happy.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc for my honest review
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This was better than the last book but still very superficial. I never felt like I knew any of the characters. I keep hoping Dorothea will go back to her earlier writing style, those books were so good. These recent books are like reading a long People magazine.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I always look forward to reading books by this author. This book is entertaining and there were times I felt as though I was watching a sitcom. I found the part about Las Vegas a little long, but I have to say I did enjoy reading the book. The characters were not believable (in my opinion), but humerous. The book is a good summer read.
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  • Joanne Whitehouse
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book. The beginning was a little difficult for me to get into, but once the story started to develop, I couldn't put it down! Romance, humour and a touch of mystery (along with some angering moments due to a character, lol). Pick it up for a great summer light read!
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  • Melody
    January 1, 1970
    Good Low Country Summer reading.
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorites and Queen Bee did not disappoint.
  • Leigh Leckron
    January 1, 1970
    I love every one of her books! She's one of my top 3 authors.
  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Holly Jensen’s life is stuck in a rut. She’s living with her crabby mother on Sullivan’s Island. She raises bees, makes honey, tends her garden, and waits on her mother, the Queen Bee, 24/7. Holly wants to get a job teaching at the Sullivan’s Island elementary school, but so does everyone else. She has a major crush on her widowed neighbor, Archie, and his two boys but Archie seems clueless. However, things on Sullivan’s Island are about to change.This was a light-hearted, easy reading book. I g Holly Jensen’s life is stuck in a rut. She’s living with her crabby mother on Sullivan’s Island. She raises bees, makes honey, tends her garden, and waits on her mother, the Queen Bee, 24/7. Holly wants to get a job teaching at the Sullivan’s Island elementary school, but so does everyone else. She has a major crush on her widowed neighbor, Archie, and his two boys but Archie seems clueless. However, things on Sullivan’s Island are about to change.This was a light-hearted, easy reading book. I generally enjoy Dorothea Benton Frank’s books and this was no exception, not her best, but still fun.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    4-4.5 stars. BUT, you have to enjoy her style of writing. And I do, so I really enjoyed this book!
  • Gretchen
    January 1, 1970
    “I eat my peas with honey, it keeps them on the knife...” 🐝 🍯 Ohhhhh my goodness I loved Queen Bee! The characters are so lovable even the “unlovable.” Such a page turner… Twists and turns and very unpredictable. I found myself taking notes about the educational pieces related to honey bees. The food descriptions made my mouth water and inspired me to cook! Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorite authors of all times. Queen bee most definitely gave me an escape from my own reality into the w “I eat my peas with honey, it keeps them on the knife...” 🐝 🍯 Ohhhhh my goodness I loved Queen Bee! The characters are so lovable even the “unlovable.” Such a page turner… Twists and turns and very unpredictable. I found myself taking notes about the educational pieces related to honey bees. The food descriptions made my mouth water and inspired me to cook! Dorothea Benton Frank is one of my favorite authors of all times. Queen bee most definitely gave me an escape from my own reality into the world of a love-able Sullivan’s Island family. I can’t wait for Dorothea Benton Franks next book!♥️
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