The Death of Bees

A Novel

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Death of Bees
Trying to keep the death of their parents a secret, Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own until several residents in Glasgow's Hazelhurst housing estate suspect that something is not right.

Published: New York : Harper, c2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 0062209841
Branch Call Number: F ODO
Characteristics: 311 p. ;,22 cm


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Dec 15, 2014

After reading the comments on this book, I wonder is there something wrong with me? After the first f=bomb dropped, I found myself dodging it throughout the story (about as effective as dodging raindrops). The plot was interesting but those f-bombs kept getting in the way. They seem to be accceptable in many circles, but not in mine! What happened to normal adjectives. such as absolutely, tremendously, etc., etc. The shock value of f-bombs is no longer valid. A well-placed obscenity can be quite effective in a novel. But literal floods of them are just simply offensive and disgusting. The current and recent generation of people who write trashy novels seem to lack a decent vocabulary. Go ahead and laugh at me for caring what I read. If any of you don't care what you read, that's your problem. If the f-bomb is her trademark, I'll never read one of this so-called "writer's" novels again. Funny, isn't it. Most of the great writers of the past didn't need a single obscenity to write truly great stories.

Jun 02, 2014

Death of Bees is a page turner. I read it in one sitting. The book is not very long in pages and has a wonderful moral: Don't judge other people. Characters like a two sisters from a dysfunctional family, a homosexual man and a Russian immigrant are sources of great surprise. These are characters that we can easily meet in our daily lives. Enjoy the read.

Mar 16, 2014

"After finding their parents dead, 15-year-old Marnie and 12-year-old Nelly buried their bodies in their backyard, determined to keep their deaths secret for fear of being placed in foster care. Though their parents were neglectful, abusive drug addicts, the story that they're on vacation will only hold off suspicion for so long. One neighbour, labelled a pervert by those who fear gay men, offers them stability and shelter, but despite their resiliency and his help, the two girls face multiple challenges, including an unkind grandfather who's appeared out of nowhere, a dog's discovery of the bones, and the more mundane trials of peer pressure, nightmares, and, at least in Marnie's case, her awakening sexuality. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, this debut may appeal to fans of Stephen May's Life! Death! Prizes!, which offers a different take on an orphaned teen who becomes his sibling's guardian." Fiction A to Z March 2014 newsletter

Jan 30, 2014
  • Debneo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Loved it! I wanted to smack 'granDad' sooo much. Also contains the only 'sex-offender' character I could find sympathetic. I read this in a very short time- couldn't put this down. Wish O'Donnell had more for me. Doesn't make Scotland look very appealing. Yikes!!

Jul 31, 2013
  • booktigger rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Very well written - this book won the Commonwealth Writers prize for 2013.

Jun 13, 2013
  • sillycraygirl rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

the death of bees was just so interresting that i couldnt put it down i just had to keep reading i read this book when ever i had got the change but i ended up felling bad ffor the girls the bascillay raised themselfs im suprise they diidnt end u p more worse

Jun 11, 2013
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Marnie and Nelly are sisters whose parents are neglectful drug addicts. But that's all over now. As the book begins, Marnie and Nelly are burying their parents whose self-destructive tendencies have brought them to the end of their lives. The girls face nearly insurmountable odds just to grow up, but with the help of next-door neighbor Lennie, and a couple of other surprising sources, they will struggle to endure with surprising results.

Lisa O'Donnell has crafted a dark coming-of-age story that shows the strength of siblings beaten down by the harsh cruelties of life and created a couple of unique voices in fiction.

Apr 21, 2013
  • MicheleJ rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed reading this book. Moved quickly. This is an excellent first novel by the author.

Feb 22, 2013
  • Suzanne_Library rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is wonderful. Compassion sits next to black humor, and it all works. I loved and cared for the main characters (the 3 voices who tell their versions of the story), and the minor characters were memorable and vivid. There's suspense, gross stuff, powerful emotions, LGB interest, teen love... nearly everything except vampires. And the reader does not miss them! (At least, not this reader.)


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