Summary: 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 Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one 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? But he’s not the only one who suspects something isn’t right. Soon, the sisters’ friends, their other neighbors, the authorities, and even Gene’s nosy drug dealer begin to ask questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Review: “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.”
Gene and Izzy are dead. And no one must know.
The Death of Bees begins with a prologue that doesn’t drop hints, hoping you’ll get the point. It comes right out with the truth. Lisa O Donnell spends each chapter thereafter weaving a tale of two young girls left alone to fend for themselves, saved by the friendly old man next door, a sneaky ice cream van driver, and a surprisingly upstanding drug dealer.
This was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon read, written in the rambling tone of two teenage girls- one too much of an adult for her own good, one in desperate need of raising and parenting, something she’d never had, even when her parents were around.