The Death of Bees (P.S.) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Lisa O'Donnell's debut coming of age story did not disappoint. The opening lines suggest the dark and heart-clenching read to come.

Having just buried their parents in the backyard, 15-year-old Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are alone in Glasgow on Christmas Eve. Marnie becomes the head of the household, as she struggles to grow up and support her little sister. As the story unfolds, the mysterious beginning is explained.

Marnie and Nelly have a hard life, and my heart went out to them throughout the book. It is sad when you think the demise of their parents was the best thing to have happened to them. I loved all the raw and riveting characters in this book, even the supporting ones.

Death of Bees isn't for the faint of heart, and it is not a young adult book. Getting to connect with these characters (and wanting to protect them from the world) is a worthwhile experience.This book is an astounding read.

— Vanessa

January 2013 Indie Next List

“Beginning with two children who bury their parents in their garden, The Death of Bees had me hooked from page one. Streetwise teen Marnie and her younger, socially awkward, violin prodigy sister find their parents dead and attempt to cover up their deaths to avoid foster care, with both help and hindrance from some surprising sources. Told from the point of view of multiple characters, this lively, suspenseful, and darkly hilarious tale transfixed me from gruesome start to wonderfully satisfying finish. Brilliant, delightful, and thought provoking!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI


A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel, The Death of Bees is a coming-of-age story in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Marnie and Nelly, left on their own in Glasgow's Hazlehurst housing estate, attempt to avoid suspicion until Marnie can become a legal guardian for her younger sister.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, and told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for each other.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062209856
ISBN-10: 006220985X
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2013
Pages: 310
Language: English
Series: P.S.

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