The Death of Bees
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The Death of Bees

By (author) Lisa O'Donnell

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This is the winner of the commonwealth book prize 2013. 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 have always been different. Marnie leads a life of smoking, drinking and drugs; Nelly enjoys playing the violin, eating cornflakes with Coke and reading Harry Potter. But on Christmas Eve, the sisters have to join forces and put their differences aside. And when Lennie, the old guy next door, starts to get suspicious, it's only a matter of time before their terrible secret is discovered.

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  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 22mm | 220g
  • 23 Apr 2013
  • Cornerstone
  • Windmill Books
  • London
  • English
  • 0099558424
  • 9780099558422
  • 30,058

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Author Information

Lisa O'Donnell won the Orange Screenwriting Prize in 2000 for her screenplay The Wedding Gift. Recently she took a break from screenwriting when she moved to LA with her two children. The Death of Bees is her first novel.

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Review quote

"This vibrantly imagined novel, by turns hilarious and appalling, is hard to resist." Daily Mail "A black comedy, mixing The Ladykillers with Irvine Welsh's The Acid House...O'Donnell adeptly balances caustic humour and compassion." Guardian "Compelling piece of work... O'Donnell brings a freshness to her narrative, thanks to the brilliantly evoked voices of her two young female protagonists... Warm without being cosy, explicit without being shocking, and emotive without being schmaltzy, this is a powerful coming-of-age tale with a clear eye for the travails of 21st-century deprived living." The Scotsman "The Death Of Bees is compelling stuff, engaging the emotions from the first page and quickly becoming almost impossible to put down." Herald "A dark, fierce first novel that is a page-turner and a fairy tale turned inside out. I can't wait to read what she writes next." -- Alice Hoffman New York Times

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Review text

Channelling the spirit of Joe Orton…O’Donnell cuts black comedy with a big dollop of sentiment…The Death of Bees steadily draws you into its characters’ lives.

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