The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

beesPublished January 2013 by Harper *****

This book was SO effed up and I loved every page of it!  When Marnie and Nelly’s parents die, they bury them in the back garden so the authorities won’t interfere and separate them.  It’s told from the alternating perspective of delinquent 15 year-old Marnie, 12 year-old quirky prodigy Nelly, and their elderly gay (and classified sexual offender) neighbor Lennie.  The girls struggle to keep their secret despite being better off without their negligent junkie parents.  Lennie steps in to nurture them unlike they’ve ever been before and they are unsure how to react to such attention.  It’s so sad that Marnie and Nelly have to grow up so quickly because of their situation and the grim realities of the welfare system in Scotland, but they both possess such admirable qualities even though their parents really screwed them up.  Throw in some shady drug dealers, Lennie’s tormented past, and his dog who keeps digging up body parts, and you’ve got an incredible novel that toes the line of indecency.  Marnie’s teen-angst voice was spot on, I was enamored with Nelly’s intellect and innocence, and I admired Lennie’s loyalty.  Despite the horrific things that these girls experience, they find solace in being together and learn who they can really depend on.  Plus there’s an awesome surprise ending.  Yeah, awesome.  Even though I had an idea where it was headed, I had no idea that it would go the route it did, but it was so satisfying.


I received a complimentary copy of this book via TLC Book Tours.

Julz’s recommendaiton for another messed up, dysfunctional book with dead parents, check out The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan

11 responses to “The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

  1. Nice review.

    Silver’s Reviews

  2. I’m so intrigued! I will definitely be adding this to my wishlist – great review🙂

  3. therelentlessreader

    I am really looking forward to this book. I’ve heard such great things, over and over!🙂

  4. Love your enthusiasm for the book and your review🙂 I appreciate your kind words and hoping a lot you like my next book. It’s a great blog!

  5. When you start a review with a line like this “This book was SO effed up and I loved every page of it!” you certainly get my attention!🙂 I’m really looking forward to reading this book, especially after reviews like yours.

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  6. Pingback: The Death of Bees – Book Review – caribousmom

  7. Pingback: Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell | JulzReads

  8. TERRIFIC review! “toes the line of indecency” – yes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s