Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell

5 Star

Today is Christmas Eve.
Today is my birthday.
Today I am fifteen.
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. Besides, it's only a year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? Lennie takes them in—feeds them, clothes them, protects them—and something like a family forms. But soon enough, 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. 

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I loved The Death of Bees because it was nothing like I expected and had rich descriptions throughout. The story evolved quite interestingly about such a dysfunctional situation that I couldn't even imagine it being realistic yet I know that it quite possibly could be. The way it was detailed and brought to life really led me to feel like I was in the moment, no matter how I felt about the actual premise.

The story is told from the perspective of three characters, Lennie, Marnie & Nelly and I felt like the author was able to write the characters in such a way that they were very strong individuals and their voices were heard loud and clear and quite distinctly. The turn of phrase that she uses are quite amusing at times yet so bang on in the descriptions that you can't help but envision exactly what she wants you to!

I also really appreciated how all of the characters had to come to terms with hardships in their lives and the wonderful way she described them being able to do so. It was heartwarming to see how such broken people could learn to love and trust each other.
I honestly loved The Death of Bees and it was not something that was easy to read at times due to the subject matter but it was definitely a tale I enjoyed very much.

Thank you to HarperCollins for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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1 comment:

  1. The cover doesn't do it for me and every time I see it I am reminded of that, but if I actually take a moment to read about it (like I did here) the story sounds really good. I guess I just need to get over the cover.



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