The Death of Bees

By Lisa O'Donnell
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062209849, 320pp.)

Publication Date: January 2013

List Price: $25.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the 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


Description

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.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another.




About the Author
Lisa O'Donnell is the nationally bestselling, award-winning author of "The Death of Bees". She lives in Los Angeles.


NPR
Saturday, Jan 5, 2013

"Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard." So begins Lisa O'Donnell's novel about two sisters who find their parents dead and, instead of reporting it, decide to keep it a secret until they can make it on their own. More at NPR.org

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