I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell hooked me from the start. I read this book over the course of one day, totally unwilling to put it down.
I mean, seriously, the quote above is how the book begins! How can you not get hooked?
The Death of Bees is about Marnie and Nelly, who have buried their not-so-wonderful parents in the backyard of their (potentially project) house. Marnie is a 15-year-old, super smart but also kind of lazy teen, who enjoy cigarettes, occasional drug use, and being Nelly’s protector. Nelly is a little “off,” an almost-normal girl, who just seems to have a little bit of social trouble.
Marnie and Nelly need to keep the secret and survive, especially once the welfare checks are cut off. . . and they do so with the help of their “sexual predator” neighbor, an elderly gay man named Lennie who had one incident that has labeled him for the rest of his life.
Lennie becomes a surrogate grandfather to the girls, and while he doesn’t know exactly where the parents are, he lets that go to both help protect Nelly and Marnie and also to have their company.
They all have secrets, and through the telling of The Death of Bees, you realize that sometimes family doesn’t always have to be who you are related to by blood.
The Death of Bees is a book I recommend. It’s one you can read quickly, even at over 300 pages.