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The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Death of bees “The Death of the Bees” caught my eye because it had a fascinating cover. I knew it was the author’s debut novel but nothing more than that. The story is about two sisters Marnie and Nellie. Marnie finds the dead body of her parents and convinces her sister to bury it in their garden so that they are not placed in foster care. When someone questions them about their parents, they simply tell them that they have gone on a long trip. No one doubts them as their parents are perceived as irresponsible adults in the society. The children are haunted by the past and have issues but their neighbor Lennie, steps in and takes care of them as his own. Over a period of time, he gets to know about their parents death but decides to act ignorant. The story takes a twist when their grand-father visits and wants to take care of them.

This book is a fascinating one. When I started reading it, I could not put it down and was eager to know what happened next. The writing is simple yet very effective. Messages are conveyed as they should be, but in a cleanest possible way. When a story involves children and sexual abuse, we have seen different authors use different techniques to describe it (some not very pleasant). Lisa O’Donnell has used an approach where most of her message is implicit not explicit.

The characters in ‘The Death of Bees’ were extremely well-developed; almost to the point that I felt like I knew these two little girls and everyone who crossed their lives. Even characters who had little presence like Marnie’s friends managed to make an impact. In my opinion all of them contributed largely to the effectiveness of the book. I say ‘effective’ and not ‘enjoyable’ because the book is powerful. The emotions of the characters are high but not dramatic. Marnie and Nellie in spite of all that they have been through continue to be children at heart, looking for someone to love them, living simple lives while continuously knowing that their little secret could be revealed anytime.

‘The Death of Bees’ is a must read and possibly one of the best books of 2013. An excellent plot with a simple story telling style gets this book a very well deserving five smiley faces:



One Response

  1. This has been on my Kindle since it came out, but I think I definitely need to make a point to read it now!

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