The Honey Well by Gloria Mallette is one of my favorite books. I had forgotten about this gem until I had to do a reader’s advisory list for a workshop. Our goal at the workshop was to provide at least 5 titles on our go-to list and 5 titles of a specific genre, and provide a very brief summary, either provided by the book, catalog, or our own. Here is a brief summary of The Honey Well.
The Honey Well by Gloria Mallette is an entertaining tale of the mother/daughter relationship of Esther and Arnell. The story begins when Esther asks her only daughter to do the unthinkable to keep a roof over their heads. This favor results in the Honey Well, where Queen Esther rules and operates a brothel in a mansion where Esther’s own mother was a maid.Queen Esther, as she likes to be called, is motivated by money and she will allow no one to stand in her way, not even her daughter. Arnell wants out of the life her mother forced her in, but Esther keeps Arnell in line by threatening to disclose Arnell’s indiscretions to Arnell’s fiance if she doesn’t do what Esther wants. Yet, as Arnell’s past is eventually uncovered, Esther is forced to deal with her own demons, as the past she thought she left behind is revealed and returns to seek retribution.This tale of love, hate, sex, and murder will leave any person with a heart thankful they do not possess a mother such as Esther.