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The Honey Witch Readalong: Day 2!


Lovely photo by @readwithacapricorn!

Hey fairies!

Welcome back to day 2 of our readalong for our May Adult featured book: The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields!

I hope you’re all enjoying the book so far! I am so excited to see what happens today!

Today we’re reading from chapter 7 to the end of chapter 14. Let’s go!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields from chapters 7 to 14. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!

We’re jumping straight into witchy training! I’m here for it. 💃

As Honey Witches, bees are an integral part of their magic. They need the honey to create their spells. That’s such an interesting magic system!

Poor Althea feels as though she’s starting to get on a bit. That makes me a bit scared for what will lie ahead. We learn about spells and the kind of magic Honey Witches do… but that’s not all we learn. We learn that Althea has a cat. I love cats!!! Cindershine is 30 years old and sounds absolutely dashing!

With Althea worrying about her age and also having a 30 year old cat, it gets Marigold to thinking. She questions her age and how much time she might have left with her grandmother. Althea reassures her ‘when I am gone, look for me in the yellow flowers.’. I’m sobbing!!!

Together, they perform the protection ritual. Althea’s crying – but they’re happy tears! Tears of relief and proudness. With the help of her granddaughter, she’s made the isle safe again.

Slowly, we see Marigold begin to take over more tasks and in the process we see more of the setting. It feels so whimsical and ethereal! I love it!

What’s not so magical, is a strange flickering Marigold notices coming from the lake. It’s coming from the Hazelwood forest, and Althea tells her she mustn’t go there. I’m sorry but if a forest has a name as cute as Hazelwood? I’m gonna want to go!!

After another day in the life of witches, Althea and Marigold have a lovely talk. They talk of dreams. Althea tells her how proud she is, that she loves her. Then in the morning, Althea is gone.

She gave Mr Benny instructions on what to do, and he takes care of everything. He gives poor Marigold a ring and say she probably won’t see him for a while, he remembers everything and needs some time. What does he remember? Mr Benny you can’t leave us like that! 😭😭😭

In the days that follow, we meet Cindershine (an icon, truly), Mari receives her first letter from home… and she sees that ominous flickering again? Strange!

Before she knows it, August is back. He and Edmund are no more and Marigold swiftly gets to work on making him a spell to mend a broken heart!

When he comes back for it, he’s not alone. The joy that is Lottie has come with him. This girl does not keep her thoughts to herself! She’s a cynic for sure, goes on about mythcraft and is honestly semi-rude… until we hear her whisper the word beautiful to August. UM, HI! Lottie, I’m going to need to know if you think Mari is beautiful – stat!

August wants a soulmate spell, and Marigold is prepared to do it on one condition. Oh, this girl is clever! She’ll do it IF Lottie admits magic exists. August and Lottie are also going to stick around for a bit, I think this will be good for Marigold. She needs the company right now!

Lottie asks for a private word, and tells Marigold she’ll play along with her games because she’ll do anything for August, but that she’ll never, ever believe in magic.

Marigold isn’t giving up on her mother just yet, she writes to her and invites her to the island. Bless her! She’s interrupted by Lottie telling her that her pot is boiling over and when she rushes to fix it, Mari burns her hand. Ouch! Lottie jumps to her rescue, telling her she’s good with burns and she’ll make her a poultice, and when their hands touch… well, let’s just say the chemistry is boiling over too. 👀

I have so many mixed emotions after this section!

Did you anticipate us losing Althea?
What do you think Benny remembered?
Do you think Mari’s mother is a lost cause, or that she’ll come around?

I’m excited to see where things go in the next section!





  • Kyanna Jackson

    I mean I figured Althea would pass away, but I was not expecting so soon. I’m wondering is it possible that there was like a forgetting spell that ended when she passed away and that’s why Benny suddenly remembered? Like maybe Althea and Benny would have been soul mates but she couldn’t love so she made him forget? I don’t know. Maybe that’s a little far fetched. I like to hope that Mari’s mother will come around though. Maybe she’ll even surprise Mari with a visit. I am so curious about Hazelwood. I mean she has to go there right? Why else would it be in the book?

    • Shannon

      That’s an interesting theory, it’d be very bittersweet if they were soulmates! 💜

  • karen.holmes.w

    This book is exactly what I needed right now. So cozy and whismical.
    I love Marigold and how she treats others. It was sad to loose Althea but I saw it comming as it was the way for Mari to grow by herself and find the need to reach out to others.
    I have a feeling Beni was in love with Althea and she made him forget because of the curse and now that she is gone, he remembers again. Or something similar.
    And this mades me afraid of what will happen if Lottie and Mari fall for each other, and with those sparks at the end of the chapter, it feels possible!

  • Licia Carlesi

    I was sad to see Althea pass, I feel like they didn’t have much time together after their reunion. I liked the witch training but I would have liked to get more glimpses of it. I find Lottie very rude, for now I don’t like her. She said she’s good with burns, I wonder if she has healing skills? In any case I like trio together, I agree that Marigold is lonely and needs the company.
    I hope her mother will come around, the family seem to be quite happy and fond of each other.

  • Alex Shaffer

    Did you anticipate us losing Althea?
    Poor Mari. I did anticipate losing Althea. And, i knew that being alone would be a struggle for her.

    What do you think Benny remembered?
    Like the others remarked, Benny might have been Althea’s soulmate and he forgot about it. Maybe she did that thinking it was for the best because of the curse. But maybe the curse is something else. Theres lots of different kinds of love. Clearly, she loved Mari and Ben.

    Do you think Mari’s mother is a lost cause, or that she’ll come around?
    I hope she comes around. Maybe she’ll help Mari with Hazelwood. She is the only person Mari can really relate to now.

    • Shannon

      I hope she’ll come around too! It’d be amazing if she helped her 🖤🥺

  • Tiffany Salangsang

    I did anticipate us losing Althea, since there was urgency for Marigold to train.
    I have no idea what Benny remembered or what his relationship with Althea was – they seemed really close.
    I really hope Mari’s mother comes around – it would be interesting to see what she thinks of the daughter that is most like her but chose the different option of becoming witch.

  • Marilag Angway

    I actually didn’t think that we would lose Althea so early in the book. I figured she’d be gone later on after this whole deal with the Ash Witch, but that didn’t seem to be the case. It was sad!

    Benny had mentioned that he didn’t quite remember how he and Althea met, so I’m guessing that’s what he did finally remember. And now I’m curious, because that would be an interesting story!

    I think Mari’s mother is still hurting from the sorts of betrayal she felt. I hope she does come around though, because it did look like her way of protection was done so out of love.

  • Alysha Sherratt

    I did not expect that Althea would die so soon! I slightly wish we had more time to get to know her character but it was needed for Mari to progress. I think Benny remembered the meeting but I wonder if he’s more important than let on. Could he possibly be her grandfather? I think her mam will come around eventually. I can’t help but wonder if Lottie is an ash witch. Good with burns and didn’t her grandmother say something like the honey and the ash witch work together in the initial chapters?

  • Stephanie Rittenhouse

    I did expect to lose Althea, but I think the way it was written was sweet. I did tear up, but I’m glad their last good night/good bye was an authentic and kind one. I also think Marigold’s mom will come around, but I’m sad that she didn’t initially. I wonder what happened between her and her mother. I feel like there is more to the story there.
    I’m unsure what Benny remembered. I like the guesses everyone else is saying, that she made him forget his love for her. Rather sad life for both of them, but I guess that’s curses for ya.

    I’m so intrigued and a little but frightened to figure out what that flicker across the lake is!
    I also wonder if Lottie had a prior bad experience with someone claiming to be a witch.. like maybe the ash witch, and that’s why she is so distrustful of people, particularly the Honey Witches.
    I’m definitely enjoying this book more than I thought I would.

    • Shannon

      It was written in a lovely way, it felt so peaceful 💜

  • Morgan Blake

    Found it a little darkly humorous that I read this section a week after my own grandmother passed. Ain’t that just the way. I did see Althea’s passing coming, and I’m glad it was such a peaceful one! Oooh I completely missed the importance of Mr. Benny saying he remembers everything, but I do think the two of them had a history together! Really like this set-up of trying to convince the grumpy skeptic that magic is real, can’t wait to see what Marigold tries to convince her!

    • Shannon

      I’m so sorry to hear that! Sending you lots of love 💜

  • Lisa Spanu (@lisashelves)

    1. Did you anticipate us losing Althea?
    I was expecting it and do believe it was needed to further along the story. I find it a bit boring and slowgoing until now and I kinda hope it will pick up more now that Marigold is alone

    2. What do you think Benny remembered?
    He said he didn’t remember how he and Althea met, I think now he remembers that

    3. Do you think Mari’s mother is a lost cause, or that she’ll come around?
    I think she’ll come around in the end

  • Nymphie

    1) I anticipated that we would lose Althea, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon! I feel like she only taught Marigold the basics of witchcraft and there’s a lot Marigold has had to figure out on her own. But I do love that one of her last lessons was to treat every woman with love, respect, and support no matter what path they have chosen in life. A woman who just wants to be a pretty wife is not worth any less than a woman who turned her back on that path. I love a strong woman who supports and builds up other women.

    2) Honestly, I only thought that Benny remembered the funeral prep instructions, but now that you’ve brought it up so much, clearly there’s more to the story! I wonder if he remembers something about the ash witch. Maybe something about her from before she cursed Althea. Maybe he and Althea were soulmates prior to that, and the ash witch or Althea herself forced him to forget it!

    3) Mari’s mother will most definitely come around. At the end of the day, she loves her daughter. It may not have been right, but she only said and did what she did out of love. Once she has time to get used to the idea and sees how much Marigold has grown into a skilled witch, I think that she’ll apologize.

  • dnjreads

    Did you anticipate us losing Althea?
    Yeah I saw that one coming from the beginning. I didn’t think she was going to be around too long.

    What do you think Benny remembered?
    I think Benny remembered all the good times with Althea and she also must have told him how she wanted to be buried.

    Do you think Mari’s mother is a lost cause, or that she’ll come around?
    I’m hoping that she’ll come around. Maybe she’ll come to Marigolds rescue at some point.

  • fatima

    Mari and Althea’s last conversation broke me!! I definitely didn’t anticipate losing Althea so soon 🙁
    Marigold’s grief and her loneliness were beautifully written. I hope she reconciles with her mother.

    Also, Mr. Benny is so precious! 😭 I don’t know what he remembered, but I like the theory that Althea made him forget meeting her/falling in love.

    The chemistry between Lottie and Marigold was chemistry-ing! Can’t wait for more interactions between them now that they live together hehe

    I also hope August finds his soulmate! I’m loving the found family vibes forming so far. <3

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12th July 2024

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