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The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell

The Death of Bees (original 2013; edition 2012)

by Lisa O'Donnell

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7338412,758 (3.9)59
Title:The Death of Bees
Authors:Lisa O'Donnell
Info:William Heinemann (2012), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Read, Your library, ARC

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The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell (2013)



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Marnie is fifteen years old, and her sister Nelly is twelve. Their parents are dead now, but they were horribly neglectful when they were alive, and the girls have always more or less had to take care of themselves, so it doesn't really make all that much difference. Well, except for the difficulties involved in hiding their parents' deaths and the fact that they're buried in the back yard, to avoid being sent to foster care.

I really enjoyed this one. Which seems a little odd to say, because it's about kids who've led an awful, awful life doing things no kid should ever have to do, and it's full of misery after misery. But it never felt entirely depressing. Mostly it just kept me concerned for these kids and tensely focused on my hope that things would work out for them in the end, somehow. ( )
  bragan | May 28, 2017 |
This book starts off very disturbing but you can't help but love these 3 VERY dysfunctional characters. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
(Contemporary, Scottish)

Two young girls bury their parents in the back yard and try to carry on as normal so that their parents’ assistance cheques will keep coming. The lonely widowed next-door neighbour watches them, suspects that something is amiss, and reaches out to include them in his life.
The story is told in the first person from the POV of each of the three main characters. I remember that the voices were clear and distinct. Also, the burgeoning relationship between the neighbours is credibly drawn.

Read this if: you’d like a sneak peek into the slums of modern-day Glasgow and the life of many of those who receive welfare; or if you like stories with young, resourceful protagonists. 4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jul 1, 2016 |
[The Death of Bees] by [Lisa O'Donnell] is a coming of age novel set in Glasgow, Scotland. The characters are realistic and make you feel for them although the dialogue is hard to understand at points because it is the true way they speak in the poorer parts of Scotland. This does not deter but rather enhances the characters who had to survive on their own and take care of each other even before their 'parents' die and get buried. They learn to care not just for each other but also outsiders who really do have their best intentions in mind. ( )
  MsHooker | Jun 28, 2016 |
Good lord, why is this first chapter so damned detailed?!
And where are the bees? I'm concerned for them, especially in this environment.

ETA: So this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The characters made me feel, which doesn't always happen. Of course, most of what I felt was irritation or anger, but it was something.

Also, I'm sad to report that the bees only made the briefest of appearances. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lisa O'Donnellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jacobs, StefanieÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my children Max and Christie
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Izzy called me Marnie after her mother. She's dead now, actually they're both dead.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0434021474, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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