Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Dora and Inez were never supposed to be friends. Raised by her wealthy aunt and uncle in a small Colorado mining town, Inez spends her days working at the local library and drinking tea with the other affluent ladies of the town. Her path isn’t supposed to cross with Dora, a prostitute from one of the town’s brothels, but the pair are brought together when they witness a brutal murder on the street and an unlikely bond forms.
Honeyville is set in Trinidad, Colorado in 1913, during a time of unrest. The mining companies are at loggerheads with the Union and events begin to spiral out of control. With thugs roaming the streets and the sound of gunshots increasing by the day, Trinidad is no longer a safe place to live.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Honeyville to begin with. I liked the writing and the fact that the book is inspired by true events, but it took a while for me to be truly drawn into the story of Dora and Inez. I didn’t particularly like Inez. She’s quite a naïve and mousy little character to begin with but as her friendship with Dora strengthens, she seems to burst out of her shell and quickly grows in confidence. This should be a good thing, but I found that the more confident Inez became, the more selfish she became too. She never seems to listen to Dora unless the subject is about her or something she is currently obsessed with, whether that is a man or a cause. I much preferred Dora and thought that she was a great friend to Inez despite the circumstances. Dora is a strong woman, but she is also trapped by her own situation and I couldn’t help feeling for her and hoping that life would take a turn for the better for her. I also really liked Inez’s brother, Xavier. He isn’t perfect and certainly has his flaws, but I loved the friendship that he develops with Dora through his sister.