Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burying the Honeysuckle Girls” as Want to Read:
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  11,704 ratings  ·  866 reviews

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reco

Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Stacy I noticed the same thing! It was never resolved, so I can only assume it was a typo.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Althea Bell has come home to Alabama, she is fresh off a stint in re-hab for a drug addiction she has battled her entire life. Once home she is not greeted with open arms. Her dying father is yelling about how she is evil and something about her turning 30. Her snobby sister-in-law and political brother Wynn both loathe seeing that she is home. They inform her that her father's will specifies that she must go into a mental institute when she turns 30 or she will inherit nothing.

What is it about
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter is a 2016 Lake Union publication.

Wow, I got more than I bargained for with this novel!

The southern backdrop is perfect for this atmospheric tale of family secrets and retribution.

Althea has no idea what is in store for her when she returns home after a stint in rehab. Her brother is running or office and her power hungry sister-in-law will stop at nothing to see Althea does nothing to mess that up. But the most disturbing thing for Althea is se
Elyse Walters
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Southern Gothic family mystery......from 1937 to 2012.

There's a threatening omen that all the women from Althea Bell's mother side will lose their minds when they turn 30 years of age.
Althea is almost 30.

Althea is angry, brags about having been self-destructive, troubled! She's goes digging into her past - trying to piece together the puzzle pieces between her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Secrets have been hidden for many generations.

The story is written in two time lin
Diane S ☔
3.5 Althea comes from a long line of mountain girls, superstition and folklore has it that these girls are tainted with a strain of madness. The last three generations of women, including her mother have said to have gone crazy on their thirtieth birthdays, in fancy Althea does not know what happened with her mother, was told by her father her mother died as she was being taken to Pritchard, the local asylum. But was she? Althea, now out of rehab, and days away from her own thirtieth birthday ne ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls is a great, although tragic tale about four generations of women that are said to always get schizophrenic by the age of 30. Althea Bell is turning 30 in a couple of days and she is worried that it's her turn to become ill. She and a childhood friend set out to find out the truth about her mother, her grandmother, and great-grandmother. Women that she doesn't know much about. But, there are those that want to stop her search no matter the cost.

I was instantly intrig
This was such a great story, I had a VERY difficult time putting it down!

I was in the mood for a dual time novel, and this one called out to me. The story of Althea and her family is full of suspense and secrets and mystery. The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't await to see what happened next.

I knew very little going into this book and I believe it is the way to go. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Thank you, Netgalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for an hon
Book of Secrets
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I have to say that this is an impressive debut novel! The blurb intrigued me, though I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I got was gut-wrenching emotion, complicated characters, a puzzling mystery, and a dash of magical realism.
Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Set in Alabama, the story centers around Althea, a troubled young woman who's come home to visit her ailing father. It seems that she, too, carries the burden
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Many thanks to Netgalley and Emily Carpenter for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Was this ever suspenseful and downright amazing! This is currently a "read now" on Netgalley and will be published this month as well to the general public. Bravo to this debut; I'm ecstatic to see how much fantastic emerging talent is coming on the scene this year!

I think its safe to say this book was made for me. After realizing how scary it was having so much in common with the author, I knew I h
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
2.5 stars. Good, important topic. Nice suspense. Okay execution. Almost unbearable characters. I guess it was alright?

This book has been lying around on my Kindle for at least a year. It's one of the first NetGalley eARCs I've downloaded, and to be honest, the premise sounded fab:

Althea, fresh out of rehab, returns to her rich Southern home and finds herself absolutely unwanted there. Suffering trauma of losing her mother, torn between wondering if she's actually mentally ill, or if the worryi
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Hard to read haunting story.

Story starts 1937, three generations of heart wrenching secrets. Mental diseases, drugs and alcoholism. Brother is determined to be president, wants to keep all the family skeletons locked away in their closets. Year 2012, everything know out in the open.
This story was very hard to read, if you have many things around you going wrong, don't read this book. Well written book.
Deborah Blanchard
First of all I would like to thank Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read this incredible book.
It is hard to believe that this is Emily Drake Carpenters' first novel. It is an amazing story from beginning to end. I read this book in one day, that is how amazing it is. You will not be able to put this book down. It is written flawlessly and is vividly descriptive. I could actually smell the honeysuckle, I swear. The characters are so richly developed and absolutely believabl
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, bookclub, fiction
I think if I read the book, I may not have liked it much, as the characters were based on your average southern stereotypes, but I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version. I can't believe Kate Orsini has only narrated this and one other self-help title. She made this so much fun, I really liked the Southern accents, but even more than that I loved the way she made the book come to live. This was no ordinary reading, but instead she acted out all the emotions, this worked especially well as the main ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
Great debut novel from this talented writer! This book got my attention quickly and kept me glued to the book for hours.

I guess I would call this a Southern gothic mystery because of where it takes place and that the fact that the story of the Honeysuckle girls is almost a legend in this town, one that the main character, Althea, learns about on her return from a year long rehab facility for alcoholism.. She returns to the town to be reunited with her father and brother but what awaits her is n
Chris Negron
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down! It kept me in suspense the whole time, surprising me with plot twists and turns and vivid details of multiple time periods and locales as the story grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me across the state of Alabama. I'll be thinking about the people I met in BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS for a long time to come.
Cynthia Corral
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Fantastic mystery/thriller/suspense novel.
Not so much a roller coaster ride as it is a seat on a speeding train that's carrying a time bomb that continues to go *tick-tock-tick-tock-tick...*

In many ways it reminded me of a Dan Brown novel, (only MUCH better written) as we are led from location to location trying to unravel the mystery before the possibly life-threatening deadline. Perhaps we don't visit exotic European locations with famous art, but we are brought all through Alabama and a great
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Althea Bell's return to her family's Alabama home is anything but welcoming. She has gotten an early release from a year-long drug rehab program and finds her brother and his wife have moved in with daddy, the former state's attorney general, who is in the end stages of Alzheimer's. But the house is filled with people encouraging her brother Wynn's run for governor and the appearance of Althea is an embarrassment he doesn't need. With the help of their family doctor, Wynn and his wife hope to qu ...more
Renae Hinchey
I saw all the great reviews on this book, but for some reason, it just didn't live up to my expectations. It's a tragic tale about unraveling the mystery of why four generations of women who all seem to lose their minds on their 30th birthday. When the mystery is finally solved at the end, it was anticlimactic. The book dragged in places, especially the last quarter the book. Althea, the main character, sets out to find out the truth about her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Althea is about to turn 30 and she has been recently released from rehab and is returning home. Her homecoming is not very welcoming and her father’s dementia is being taken care of by her brother and his wife. Her brother is going into politics and her past is not going to make his campaign run very easy. Althea decides she has to find out why her mother died and how so that she does not suffer the same fate as her mother, and her grandmother and her great grandmother and her great great grandm ...more
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going into it, and it was probably better that way. It really exceeded my expectations and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really enjoy dual time lines, multiple POV and family mysteries, and this book did not disappoint.

This story will suck you right in and you will keep reading way past your bedtime just to see what happens next. It is written so well that it is hard to believe tha
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Mixed emotions about this one. There were things I really loved about it and I was definitely glued to it.. All the way through.
I felt that there was just way too much packed into one book though and some things that happened that weren't necessary and or completely logical.
Definitely entertaining and some gorgeous writing but imperfect
Christine Nolfi
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Southern gothic at its best. Recommended.
Sonja Arlow
3 1/2 stars

I am not my mother,
the honeysuckle girl isn’t real,
I don not have gold dust on my finger tips,
there’s no such thing as a red raven

Every woman in the Althea’s family seem to go mad at the age of 30, as far back as her great-grandmother. There is a lot of ambiguity and mystery around each of these women’s breakdowns and now that Althea is about to turn 30 she is understandably a little worried and wanting to understand exactly what will happen to her.

Fresh from rehab she returns to
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

That was some sick and twisted secret. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a great read. I hope the author writes more books. I would love to read them.
Melissa Chung
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-challenge
Before I write this review I want to thank Socialbookco for sending me this book for free, in exchange for an honest review. If you enjoy this review and are interested in purchasing the book, click on the link below. It will take you to where you can find the exact book I read (paperback). Socialbookco shows you the different online retailers that sell this book at the lowest price. You can then choose the website you wish and the book will be sent from that website. http://www ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
Meh. This was okay. 2.5

The problem is that the ending doesn't deliver. The reasons behind what happened to her family was just stupid and pointless. I honestly had a hard time believing the reason given for her great grandmother's death. It was just stupid.

And the deaths after that were truly and completely unbelievable. The whole secret was just stupid. Maybe, MAYBE, that might've happened to the great grandmother but it was completely unnecessary for the others -- in fact, it was more dangero

What a wonderful debut novel by Emily Carpenter. I was captivated and taken in right away by the beautiful cover. If you love books about the South and family dramas/mysteries this one is for you. It reminds me a bit of Karen White's novels...which I adore.

Althea Bell is newly released from a stint in rehab for her drug addiction. She returns to the family home in Alabama. She is still troubled as she is turning thirty soon. All the women in her family have died at that age. She begins a ques
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never would have guessed this was a debut novel. The writing is beautiful, and I got really wrapped up in the story.
Katy Shelton
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buckle up, buttercup, and hang on tight because this story is going to take you on a ride like you’ve never experienced. From page one, the plot twists and turns are surprising at least, jarring and haunting at most. Carpenter pulls the reader toward questions surrounding her main character Althea’s ominous 30th birthday, but the more answers Althea gets, the more questions she has. This multi-generational mystery races around the state of Alabama toward a weighty resolution that will leave you ...more
This is an epic that spans 80 years of a family's life in Alabama. Current day, a young woman on the brink of turning thirty, who has just completed rehab, returns home to a brother and sister-in-law, who definitely have an agenda to somehow have her committed, just as her mother had been when she turned thirty. This will free up all of her ailing fathers inheritance which will enable the conniving two to stay on the political track towards her brother becoming the next Governor. When she discov ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Broken Angels
  • Gin O'Clock
  • Yuki Chan in Brontë Country
  • Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (#2)
  • Everyone Pays
  • Of Sorrow and Such
  • Something More Than This
  • City of Secrets
  • Where the Dead Walk
  • The Ghost of Africa
  • His Darling Bride (Echoes of the Heart, #2)
  • In the Light of What We See
  • Liar's Bench
  • Whistling Women
  • Jilo (Witching Savannah #4)
  • Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America's Favorite Pleasure
  • Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black, #2)
  • I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain
“Shy don’t set the world on fire,” 4 likes
“Robb was hosting her garden club. Since I was gone and” 0 likes
More quotes…