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The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners

Sarah-Kate Lynch

Top 10 Best Quotes

“She was tall and slender with long dark hair that swung in a shiny ponytail from one shoulder to the other, her dress swirling beneath her cinched waist. He thought suddenly of watermelon. It was hard to come by back in Scotland but even before he'd ever tasted one in the flesh it had reminded him of summer (which was also hard to come by back in Scotland). He knew what watermelon tasted like now; it was one of his favorite things. He could almost feel it in his mouth as he stood there, that cold sweet powerful explosion of almost nothing. He needed to find a slice as soon as possible.”

“Theo and Sugar dated, just like normal people only slower. He bought her heart-shaped boxes of candy and living plants for her rooftop and sent her cards, one every day by U.S. mail, each with a handwritten message. 'Can't wait to see you tonight,' the first one said. 'I love your laugh,' read the second. 'Sorry for spilling ketchup on your dress,' came the third. She made him pork chops with honey mustard sauce and her favorite date-and-honey nut loaf and a fetching gingham jacket for Princess, who ate it the moment they turned their back on him.”

“Theo Fitzgerald," she said, still trying to shake off the night's uninvited visitor. "I mean, really!" The shake turned into yet another shiver, the sort usually inspired by a particularly wicked mouthful of very rich, supersmooth, utterly sinful ice cream.”

“The next day there was still no sign of Sugar's 5A neighbor, although the window boxes had been rearranged overnight, the mint harvested and Thai basil planted in its place. Again, the window was open and the heavenly scent of something deliciously cakelike was swirling around the rooftop.”

“Sugar had grown up in Charleston, South Carolina: possibly the most luscious of the world's garden cities. Behind every wrought-iron gate or exposed-brick wall in the picturesque peninsula blooming between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers lay a sweet-scented treasure trove of camellias, roses, gardenias, magnolias, tea olives, azaleas and jasmine, everywhere, jasmine. With its lush greenery, opulent vines, sumptuous hedgerows and candy-colored window boxes, it was no wonder the city's native sons and daughters believed it to be the most beautiful place on earth. In her first years of exile Sugar had tried to cultivate a reminder of the luxuriant garden delights she had left behind, struggling in sometimes hostile elements to train reluctant honeysuckle and sulky sweet potato vines or nurture creeping jenny and autumn stonecrop.”

“Sugar got her beauty from her mama, was Theo's first impression, but this woman did not strike him as having a heart of gold. She looked rich and mean, the opposite of his own mother, and he felt proud that Sugar had turned out the way she had despite that.”

“Sugar and the man in the Hawaiian shirt stepped forward and pulled him up. But as they stepped away again, the backs of their hands brushed- it was just the lightest touch, for the briefest of moments, almost nothing more than hair upon hair, yet Sugar felt it like a blowtorch on creme brûlée.”

“She looks sort of like a nurse, Ruby thought. Or a nun, but a movie star nun, not a real one, and an old-fashioned rescuing-the-orphans sort of movie star nun, not the comedy sort. It was her face. It was open and fresh and happy and she had shiny dark hair pulled back in a ponytail.”

“Seeing her mama wiggle and swagger like that always reminded Sugar of her own shortcomings in this department. She knew the sort of daughter Etta wished she had- another wiggler and swaggerer- but that flirtatious behavior just didn't come naturally to Sugar. She wasn't a tomboy, exactly. Her mother would have shot her rather than let that happen, but Sugar didn't particularly like parties or shopping trips or lengthy visits to the beauty parlor, all of which her mother adored. She preferred helping her grandfather with his bees on his orchard farther up the Ashley River; she always had. She liked reading books on her own or walking the family dog, Miss Pickles. Worse, she couldn't manage high heels no matter how hard she tried, which was an utter disgrace to her southern roots. The pretty only daughter of a well-known beauty married to one of the city's wealthier sons should by rights follow directly in her mother's footsteps in nothing less than three-inch stilettos, as far as Etta was concerned. But she and Sugar were cut from different cloth.”

“Perched up on salvaged bricks, the half-pipes made perfect planters with an industrial edge that oddly complemented Sugar's pretty favorites: pansies, lantana, verbena and heliotrope. She laid two of them by the long wall of the taller building next door and planted a clematis vine at one end and a moonflower vine at the other: the clematis because the variety she picked had the prettiest purple bloom and the moonflower because it opened in the early evening and emanated a heavenly scent just when a person most felt like smelling one.”

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Book Keywords:

rooftop-garden, sugar-and-theo, theo-fitzgerald, south-carolina, watermelon, bitch, plants, differences-with-one-another, mother-and-daughter, flowers, potted-plants, princess, sugar-wallace, dating, etta-wallace, gardens, herbs, smells

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