The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits, Book 2)

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits, Book 2)
Olivia Waite, 2020

Premise: Agatha Griffin has been running her printing company alone since the death of her husband, so she knows when to delegate. A swarm of bees in the storage room demands delegation. Penelope Flood is a beekeeping expert and local eccentric, thought to be too kind for her own good and oddly okay with her husband always being gone at sea. Together they’ll dare local politics, potential scandal, and the possibility of love.

I didn’t love this book quite as much as The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, but I did enjoy it a lot. It’s a fantastic balance, combining a gorgeous romance, interesting history, and just enough tension and danger. 

Our heroines first have to admit their attraction for each other through a long and lovely progression of acquaintances to friends to more. Dramatic turns in English politics cause widespread upheaval, including in Penelope’s tiny town, first taking a few tiny steps towards some rights for women, then backsliding under the influence of those who commandeer or create “moral” crusades for their own purposes. 

Agatha and Penelope are both great characters. There is something very special about the way this book shows each character through their own eyes and the other’s. I know that’s common in romance, but often it’s just an excuse for drama and misunderstandings. Here, there’s a discordance that’s kind of beautiful - the differences between how each woman sees herself and how the other sees her. 

The details of the printing business, the beekeeping, etc. are just icing on the cake. 

4 Stars - A Very Good Book


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