Set in England during the mid-19th century, Blackberry Honey is a tale about maids, music, and unexpected romance.
The story begins when our heroine, Lorina Waugh, is fired from her previous position as a maid in the stately home of Hartwell. With a large family back in Liverpool to support and a string of unsavoury comments circulating about her rather sudden dismissal, Lorina’s search for a new place of employment leads her to Bly.
Forced to work for fourteen hours a day, with little chance to rest, Lorina is bullied by the senior maids and, most embarrassingly of all, by the twelve-year-old daughter of the Lennard family, Lady Constance.
One of the only maids who deigns to speak to Lorina is the mysterious Taohua – but Lorina wishes she wouldn’t. Despite her lowly status, Taohua has her own private bedroom, never goes to church with the rest of the servants, and rarely interacts with anybody. Her aloof, almost cat-like personality, coupled with her peculiar complexion, eyes, and name, have inspired more than a few rumours around the Shropshire countryside that she might be a witch.
Lorina knows she should keep her distance from Taohua, and she wants to most desperately… but maybe there’s a pinch of truth to all the rumours, because she soon finds herself under the older woman’s spell.
Mitsuki, an aimless young man studying to take his university entrance exams, falls for a young single mother who lives in his apartment complex. A relationship develops between these mismatched social outcasts, and then...
"I love you for who you are. I’ve loved you from the moment I met you."
Robin Hawkins is down on his luck. His relationship with his wife, Sally, is stagnating, and his daughter, Melody, no longer speaks to him.
Stuck in an unsatisfying and draining job, Robin's life is one long, monotonous slog...
Until he meets the mysterious girl of his dreams in the middle of the night, Bell.
However, there is far more to Bell than meets the eye - and Robin's 'dreams' are fast in danger of becoming 'nightmares'.