The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell


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Title: The Death of Bees

Author: Lisa O’Donnell

Publisher: William Heinemann

Pages: 320 (Hardcover), 336 (Paperback), 306 (Ebook)

Release Date: March 1, 2012

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hazlehurst housing estate, Glasgow, Christmas Eve 2010. Fifteen-year-old Marnie and her little sister Nelly have just finished burying their parents in the back garden. Only Marnie and Nelly know how they got there. Lennie, the old guy next door, has taken a sudden interest in his two young neighbours and is keeping a close eye on them. He soon realises that the girls are all alone, and need his help – or does he need theirs?

As the year ends and another begins, the sisters’ friends, their neighbours, and the authorities – not to mention the local drug dealer, who’s been sniffing around for their father – gradually start to ask questions. And as one lie leads to another, darker secrets about Marnie’s family come to light, making things even more complicated.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, The Death of Bees is an enchanting and grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for each other.

My Thoughts:

This is book is quite different from what I normally read and my husband picked it out for me. I don’t read too much contemporary just because I enjoy being taken to a new world. This was rather good in my opinion. It’s not a fluffy, cutesy read and it’s definitely not for someone who doesn’t like heavy swearing, gore and heavy subject matter.


Rawness: This book does not shy way from things. Lisa O’Donnell did a great job creating a grim story about two sisters and their lives.

Lightness: There is a good about of comedic material in this book that helps to not make the read too down to keep reading and help with the pacing.

Fast Read: I read this in less than a day which is pretty quick for me. The comedy and my curiousity of what was going to happen to the sisters kept me going


Unbelievable/Unrelatable: This is my biggest issue with the book. The sisters were “too smart”. The oldest was a druggie but got straight A’s without trying and the other was a Violin prodigy without training. I thought that was kind of ridiculous.

Ending: I didn’t like the ending. It felt like a cop out but don’t let that stop you from reading this. I guess I wanted a more out there ending that compared to the rest of the book.


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