Please welcome author Sarah-Kate Lynch, author of, most recently, The Wedding Bees, to the Book Club Girl blog! Sarah-Kate lives in New Zealand, but is so excited to introduce her new book to America. Set in New York City, The Wedding Bees is the story of Sugar Wallace, a former debutante with a knack for helping people...and she's just set up a beehive on the balcony of her Manhattan apartment. Join Sugar in this novel about finding sweetness where you least expect it and learning to love your way home. The Wedding Bees is on sale tomorrow!
I can remember when I was about three or four years old – indeed it’s one of my first memories – standing on a stool in the pantry, frozen, spoon halfway to sticky lips, as I recognised the sound of my mother’s approaching footsteps.
Those ‘60s heels on that faded kitchen linoleum interrupted my private moment with the honey jar, big time, and I think I’ve been making up for it ever since. Why else would a grown-up person who no longer needs a stool still have seven (at last count) jars of honey in her pantry? And sometimes still be found in there, on her own, with a sticky spoon and a dreamy smile?
Honey’s always been my happy place so it was only a matter of time before I wrote a novel where at least I had an excuse to have such a big collection and keep visiting it.
And while ideas for books (this is my eighth) arrive by a variety of different often complicated methods it seems fitting that the birth of The Wedding Bees was particularly simple and happy.
After spending a while in New York, my favorite city, my husband and I had been on a road trip down through North and South Carolina to Charleston, whose candy coloured row houses, luscious gardens, balmy heat and hazy blue skies captured my romantic heart from the get-go. (For him, it was more about the fried oysters.)
We’d been travelling for maybe six weeks and sometimes after a trip that long you feel grumpy and fat and sick of not knowing where you’re going but pretty sure you’d be having more fun if you were going there on your own.
In this case, however, I felt none of those things. I felt purely happy and lucky and I knew why, which is not always the case. So I wrote a list. Not very creative, I know, but as the years advance, the inspiration might arrive at the same rate but seems to disappear again before my brain particles have bothered to latch on to it. So I write lists.
Anyway, on this list, on that day, which was a particularly happy one, appeared the following: LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, NEW YORK, MANNERS, THE SOUTH and HONEY.
(Honey is on all my lists.)
From this snapshot of a blissful moment I wove the web of Sugar Wallace, a good-hearted, old-fashioned fish out of water who arrives in Manhattan’s Alphabet City with nothing but a starter hive of bees and a reputation for helping those around her using nature’s most golden elixir.
But what I have noticed about helpful people in real life is that often times they do no like being helped themselves. In fact, I think the very reason they notice the vulnerability in others is because their own runs too deep to tap.
But we all need help in life, especially, if you ask me, when it comes to love and friendship.
So Sugar’s story is one of finally, crucially, just standing back to let the bees, the neighbours and her guardian angel all do their jobs.
Add to that a dash of having done to you as you would do unto others and, of course, honey, and Sugar is halfway to a happy ending…if not further.