Beatrice is born a slave on the Rillieux sugar plantation in Louisiana. Her father has died trying to escape, and her mother, Ara, disappears shortly after her birth, leaving Beatrice in the care of her enigmatic Great-Aunt Abeille. All of the women in Bea’s family are gifted with special talents that frighten many of the other plantation residents: they can envision the future, talk to the spirit world, or control plants and bees. A battle of wills develops between Abeille and Bea as the girl grows into young adulthood and the old plantation owner, Reynard Rillieux, takes particular notice of her, drawing her deeper into his household, where dark secrets about Bea’s heritage are lurking. Will Bea be lured into Reynard’s self-interested ploy to contain her, or will she learn who she really is and embrace her birthright and the mysteries that surround her? Honey Bea reads like a sinister, opulent fairy tale; Siegelson’s style and plot are very distinct from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but the two works share an uncommon maturity and darkness that are likely to appeal to adult readers as least as much as to young people —and possibly more so. Age 10 and up.