Mad Honey

Mad Honey

Katie Welch
  • $22.00

May 10, 2022
264 PAGES | ISBN 978-1-989496-52-7

**Shortlisted for the 2023 CBC Short Story Prize.**
**Nominated for the 2023 Evergreen Award**

When Beck Wise vanished his girlfriend Melissa Makepeace poured herself into caring for the family farm, silently absorbing yet another man disappearing from her life. But when Beck reappears three months later, thin, pale, with no idea what day it is and filled with memories of being bees, a series of layered mysteries begins to unravel. What had happened to Beck? Where did her father go? How can she keep the farm together? With gorgeous descriptions, deft characterizations and a page-turning plot, Mad Honey immerses the reader in a search for truth bounded by the everyday magic of beekeeping, of family and of finding peace, all while asking how much we really understand the natural world.

Advance Praise

"There is a buzzing hum to Mad Honey, the drone of secrets linking characters together in ways that are both sticky and sweet. From rustic cabins in the Canadian wilderness to Cuban gardens bursting in bloom, from country fairs to dive bars, the reader is taken on a wild ride. Part Canadian farmhouse gothic, part family mystery, Welch’s is a propulsive debut." – Laisha Rosnau, author of Little Fortress and Our Familiar Hunger

"Katie Welch reminds us that we are a very small part of a massive and complex non-human world and that, where we heed the lessons of non-centrality, we can also truly love. Mad Honey is a beautiful novel.” – Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of Perfecting and All the Broken Things


Book Review: Mad Honey by Katie Welch (Anne Logan, I've Read This, 20/06/2023)
"Even though this a plot-driven novel, the writing is that of a work of literary fiction that has no where to go quickly. The descriptions of life on the farm are abundant, the natural world steering the characters around as they do on a regular farm. Weather, the shifting of the seasons, and the development of the crops push the story along, and the characters are helpless to resist."

"Mad Honey by Katie Welch (Review)" (Flavia the Bibliophile, 02/05/2023)
"One of the things I appreciated about Mad Honey was the slow build of the story. The mystery aspect of the story kept me engaged, and I found myself trying to figure out what was going on. The fact that I couldn’t figure it out added to the suspense and made the reveal all the more satisfying."

Library 2022 (Lisa de Nikolits, the Minerva Reader, 07/08/2022)
"It had me buzzing and gliding along the golden threads of honeyed magic, simply delighting in the rich and juicy descriptions and then it whipped into a fabulous mystery!"

The Summertime Hotlist (The Quarantine Review, Issue 12, Summer 2022)
"Welch does for beekeeping what W.P. Kinsella did for baseball or Ernest Hemingway did for fishing. Through her deftly-controlled description, we see bee colonies, and the humans that tend to them, from a perspective that is engaging and eye-opening. We are invited to peel back the layers of Welch’s characters and their almost idyllic, agrarian lives to see the pain and angst beneath."


Katie Welch's debut novel Mad Honey weaves magical realism through a mystery inspired by the natural world (Tabassum Siddiqui, CBC Books, 17/08/2022)
"What if someone could empathize so completely with another creature that you actually felt you had become that creature?"

12 or 20 (second series) questions with Katie Welch (rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, 16/07/2022)
"I told my little sister stories to soothe her after nightmares, and it wasn’t long before I was writing those stories down."

On Rereading: Books that Bowled Me Over and Blew My Mind (Katie Welch, 49th Shelf, 06/06/2022)
Katie shares her list of recommended reading.

Six Questions interview #116 : Katie Welch (Chaudiere Books, 20/03/2022)
"Ottawa in the 1980’s was an exciting time to be a student. We kept bees on the school roof – the original inspiration for my forthcoming novel Mad Honey dates from this time – and learned to rappel down the building’s brick walls."


​​​​​​​Kamloops author among five finalists for 2023 CBC Short Story Prize (Sean Brady, Kamloops This Week, 17/04/2023)
A lovely write up on Katie Welch, whose short story "Bird Emergent" is a finalist for the 2023 CBC Short Story Prize.

Title Company (Katie Welch, Literary Review of Canada, April 2023)
"I fumble-typed my chosen title into a search bar and waited to see the familiar cover design: orange bee on yellow background, title and author emblazoned in black. Instead, a different image populated the screen."

Craving CanLit 2022 (Scotiabank Giller Prize blog, 25/07/2022)
Katie's novel appears on this list of fiction and graphic novels published between October 2021 and September 2022 that celebrates Canadian authors.

New Canadian Fiction Books for Summer 2022 (Lori Bosworth, Torontonicity, 10/07/2022)
Katie's novel is included in this round-up of new fiction for summer 2022.

Introducing: Our Amazing 2022 Summer Reading List (Part One)! (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 04/07/2022)
Katie's novel is included in this summer reads round-up.

"I Stopped Wondering a Long Time Ago" Read an Excerpt from Katie Welch's Mysterious Bee Novel, Mad Honey (Katie Welch, Open Book, 28/06/2022)
Katie shares an excerpt of her novel.

Take These Fun Essentials to the Cottage in Summer 2022 (Lori Bosworth, Torontonicity, 19/06/2022)
"Welch’s writing is fluid, concise and beautifully descriptive and the characters are fully developed. I found myself picturing Melissa’s bucolic farm while I read this well-paced story."

Book Therapy: Mad Honey (Stacey May Fowles, Open Book, 15/06/2022)
"A lush page-turner that wades through flashes of lost memory, and takes us on a bizarre search for the missing pieces of Beck’s experience."

Spring reading: Four new novels by Ottawa-area authors (Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen, 22/05/2022)

A wonderful mention of Katie's novel.

40 Canadian books coming out in May we can't wait to read (CBC Books 03/05/2022)
Katie's novel makes this CBC list of 40 Canadian books coming out in May we can't wait to read.

Who’s Who (BC Booklook, 25/03/2022)
A lovely mention of Katie Welch in BC Booklook.

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2022 Fiction Preview (49th Shelf, 31/01/2022)
Katie's novel makes this list of most anticipated spring fiction!

66 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2022 (CBC Books, 11/01/2022)
Katie's novel makes this list of 66 fiction books to watch for in Spring 2022!


Click here to read an excerpt of Mad Honey.

About the Author

Katie Welch writes fiction and teaches music in Kamloops, BC, on the traditional, unceded territory of the Secwepemc people. Her short stories have been published in EVENT Magazine, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review, The Temz Review, The Quarantine Review and elsewhere. She was first runner-up in UBCO’s 2019 Short Story Contest, and her story “Poisoned Apple” was chosen as Pick-of-the-Week by Longform Fiction.

Katie holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto (1990). Her daughters, Olivia and Heather Saya, share her passion for nature and outdoor recreation. Katie loves to cycle, hike and cross-country ski with her husband, Will Stinson, and they are creating a remote home on Cortes Island, in Desolation Sound.

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