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The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Lisa O'Donnell

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  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 214mm x 21mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 9 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0434021474
  • ISBN 13: 9780434021475
  • Sales rank: 289,297

Product description

This is the winner of the commonwealth book prize 2013. 'I'm Marnie. Too young to smoke, too young to drink, too young to fuck, but who would have stopped me?' 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.

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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.

Customer reviews

By Caoimhe Bannon 07 Mar 2014 5

crazy story about about life of teenage girls, a little absurdist at times but so enjoyable and very much tongue-in-cheek. This book is a great commentary on society. maybe not for the faint hearted but if you can handle seriously bad language, violence (including sexual violence) and ice cream men sleeping with underage girls then give it a go.

Review quote

"Vibrantly imagined novel, by turns hilarious and appalling, it's 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 "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." -- Adrian Turpin Financial Times