The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
A Novel

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Synopsis

A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel, The Death of Bees is a coming-of-age story in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Marnie and Nelly, left on their own in Glasgow's Hazlehurst housing estate, attempt to avoid suspicion until Marnie can become a legal guardian for her younger sister.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, and told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for each other.

 

About Lisa O'Donnell

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Lisa O'Donnell won the Orange Screenwriting Prize in 2000 for The Wedding Gift, and in the same year was nominated for the Dennis Potter New Screenwriters Award. A native of Scotland, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her two children. The Death of Bees is her first novel.
 
Published January 2, 2013 by Harper. 306 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Death of Bees

Kirkus Reviews

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To anyone who asks, including a drug dealer to whom their father owed money, they say their parents are in Turkey, but eventually the drug dealer finds the passports the parents would have needed to travel abroad.

Oct 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The sisters and Lennie narrate alternating chapters, moving the story along at a fast clip, but the author’s decision to give precocious Nelly a prissy vocabulary and a stilted, poetic delivery (“A white syringe.

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Examiner

Nelly, a musical prodigy who never fits in with her peers and does not care to do so, soon makes a comfortable life with Lennie.

Dec 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Book Reporter

He waited until she wasn’t looking and slapped me.” Things seem dire when Mick and Vlado, Gene’s mafia-like drug suppliers, come with guns looking for a sack of money Gene stashed just before he went to meet his maker in a climate much warmer than Glasgow’s glum drear.

Jan 10 2013 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

RT Book Reviews

... Image of Death of Bees, The. RT Rating: ... This is a mystery – but not the type
you'll spend the entire novel trying to fuss out. ... by Kelsey Macke ... Extended
Review: How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky By Lydia Netzer.

Jan 02 2013 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Washington Independent Review of Books

He’s been snooping round the flower bed next door and Lennie foreshadows what’s to come: “I feel very anxious at the moment, I don’t quite know why, especially for my dog … oh … I feel anxious at the moment and for the dog … anxious.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Although it has been suggested that Marnie and Nellie could be the offspring of characters in an Irvine Welsh novel, moved to Glasgow but still hooked on heroin, THE DEATH OF BEES is cast in a somewhat different mould.

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The Columbus Dispatch

Should the prohibition on night-driving by teenagers be moved from midnight to 10 p.m. in an attempt to reduce fatal crashes?

Jan 13 2013 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Scotsman.com

Wasted drug addicts and generally irresponsible parents to the point of criminality, Gene and Izzy are unceremoniously and secretly buried in the girls’ back garden in the opening pages, Marnie fearing that if their death becomes widely know about, the sisters will be taken into care and separated.

Apr 14 2012 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

They started talking, they started meeting.

Dec 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Death of Bees: A Novel

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