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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Death of Bees: A Novel by Lisa O' Donnell

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Today I buried my parents in the backyard.
Neither of them were beloved.


Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Maryhill housing estate isn’t grand, the girls do have each other.

As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Lennie takes them in—feeds them, clothes them, protects them—and something like a family forms. But soon, the sisters’ friends, their teachers, and the authorities start asking tougher questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another.

my thoughts:

Oh my word.  I absolutely fell in love with this book.  It was riveting, heartbreaking, frustrating, suspenseful, and hopeful.  The Death of Bees is a terrific book about two sisters and the dark secret they share.

Marnie is fifteen and eager to turn sixteen, because that means that she will legally be considered an adult and able to take care of her little sis, Nelly.  Nelly is socially awkward and speaks in an old-fashioned language that alienates her from pretty much everyone - so, she needs protecting.  Both girls are smart, fierce, and strong, but they lack the love, comfort, and nurturing that come from a good home.  You see, both of their parents are selfish junkies who dither away their days doing drugs or leaving the girls home alone without money for food.  However, the girls no longer have to deal with their parents - not since they buried them in the backyard.

Of course, two young girls living alone in a house does lead to questions.  Especially, from the lonely neighbor next door - Lennie, can't help but notice the absence of adult supervision as he watches Marnie and Nelly through his window.   Unable to stand by any longer, he soon finds himself taking care of the two sisters and becoming their sort-of guardian.  The three eat together, go away together, and take care of one another.  Marnie and Nelly are as happy as can be living with Lennie.  Except, life can't ever take a break from being difficult and soon enough drama enters the picture in so many unexpected ways.

Now, I'm not going to write anything else about this book, because it is most definitely a must-read.  I'm serious - you need to get a copy and dive into it yourself and get all caught up in Marnie's and Nelly's dysfunctional lives.  I promise you won't be disappointed - its just so good, that you won't help but love it.  So, yes, I would most definitely recommend The Death of Bees by Lisa O' Donnell to anyone and everyone looking for a new book to read.

Check out the TLC Book Tour schedule for more reviews of: The Death of Bees

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

4 comments:

Audra said...

Great review -- I adored this one when I read it in February -- crazy mad love. I don't think it got nearly the praise or attention it ought!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Audra, thanks :) Crazy mad love is the perfect way to described how you feel about this book - i love that! And i totally agree with you - it deserved more attention than it received!!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This book has been on the top of my list for a while - I can't believe I haven't read it yet!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Athira said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book, both plus and minus. The premise is definitely very intriguing. It's a hard one to ignore.