Spotlight has just won the 2016 Academy Awards Best Picture. And I can’t help but feel grateful for the fellowship of the audience’s embrace of this film, which covers the exposure of the cover up of abuses in the Catholic Church.
Which leads me to my newest novel… and I want to say this.
Sometimes, a good chocolate will have a dark, bitter centre, but be wrapped in enough sweetness to make the whole thing rich and enjoyable and have you going back for more. This is how I like to think of The Beekeeper’s Secret.
Obviously, I can’t tell you what the secret is. But I do want to talk a bit about the dark centre of the story. And I’m just going to say it straight: The Beekeeper’s Secret contains themes of child sex abuse in the Catholic church.
I’ve been nervous about sharing this because I didn’t want to potentially alienate my many wonderful and loyal readers of The Tea Chest and The Chocolate Promise. Because this book is a little different.
But here’s my promise to you–I have addressed the themes of abuse very carefully, with tremendous sensitivity to my reader’s. The book doesn’t hit the abuse down the centre. Instead, what interests me most are questions like,
How do these ripples of abuse and betrayal of trust resonate outwards through families, over generations (to the secondary and tertiary victims)?
What options did the ‘good’ people have at that time, when they were silenced and bullied into cover up at every turn?
What happens if a ‘good’ person, takes matters into her own hands? Are her actions valid? And how does she live with them?
These are questions that drove the plot for The Beekeeper’s Secret.
There are no graphic scenes of abuse in this book.
“…it seems strange that such an easy to read book could deal with such a serious issue but it does it well… the focus on family, friends and forgiveness makes this story very readable and an enjoyable depiction of life in modern Australia” (Sasha, on ‘The Beekeeper’s Secret’, Goodreads review)
At the heart of this story is a family that has been broken by secrets from the past and the efforts of Tansy to uncover the truth and heal the invisible wounds that have kept her mother and estranged aunt, Maria (and ex Catholic nun), apart.
This is a story of redemption, reunion, reconciliation and forgiveness.
And it’s a story of the wonder of bees.