Honey Brown is Married
Dreadful title, very enjoyable book. The novel follows the fortunes of Honey Brown (previously, abandoned orphan Annie) after she has left her career dancing in London clubs for the quiet life of a farmer’s wife in the countryside. What makes this novel is the voice of Honey; she is lighthearted, vivacious, anxious to please her husband August and full of life. The whole novel is like having a cosy conversation with a girlfriend as the reader follows Honey’s attempts to fit in at the farm and in the village, her establishment of a relationship with ‘Mil’, her mother-in-law, her instinctive dislike of Dairyman Nick and her love of cats. There is sadness when things don’t go as she would like, and there are many bright spots as she makes new friends and develops necessary skills. Her former talents such as high-kicking legs and ballet poses are not particularly useful on a farm, but she brings such warmth and humanity to her new life that the other characters, like the reader, accept her without demur. Another strength of the book is the period detail, which seems to me to be faultless; clothes, food, attitudes, travel and decoration are of the 1950s and woven seamlessly into the narrative, apart from perhaps the ending. As the book is written as a diary, the reader also gets to find out about Honey’s childhood and how she came to meet and marry August. In summary, superior historical chick lit. I was sorry to close the novel and say goodbye to Honey; she was such a real, living character, and I will miss her infectiously likeable voice.