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Most Helpful Favorable Review
7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
Eugene Doyle. Born 19 June 1972. Died 17 December 2010, aged thi
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neith...
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."
The opening prologue of Lisa O'Donnell's book The Death of Bees hooked me right away. Aren't you wondering? Where can the story go after such a beginning? Well, O'Donnell takes it place I wouldn't have imagined......
Marnie and her sister Nelly live on a housing estate in Glasgow. With the death of their parents Marnie is determined to keep herself and the younger Nelly together. So she lies - if anyone asks, their parents have gone to Turkey for a bit. It's not that much of a stretch - the girls have been left to fend for themselves many times as Gene and Izzy drink, smoke and party their lives away. But, Lennie, the lonely old man next door does notice. He begins to help them, feeding them and providing a clean, warm place for them to stay. But the questions start coming from all sides - teachers, friends and more. And Lennie helps the girls by lying as well. Until......
The story is told in chapters alternating through the three main characters. The same events are seen very differently in some cases. O'Donnell's characters are wonderful. Marnie is tough, resilient, brilliant but tiring of holding it all together. Nelly is wounded in many ways and seeks solace in her own world, often speaking as though she's in an old movie. Lennie too, is wounded by the world, having endured his own hardships. But the three together are able to find pockets of happiness and joy together and - dare I say it - the family that each has been yearning for. Until.....
As I crept nearer to the end of the book, I accepted my fate - I was going to be up very late that night - there was no way I could possibly put it down without knowing the outcome. O'Donnell manipulates the reader magnificently. We are given subtle insights into the girls' past with each of their narratives that only intensifies the need to know more (and the rapid turning of just one more page) Their situation is appalling, but there is that little glimmer that maybe, just maybe it will be okay. (precipitating more rapid page turning)
I absolutely adored this book. Every year there a few books that stand out for me, ones that I immediately think of when someone says 'Can you recommend a good read? Definitely - The Death of Bees.
posted by Twink on January 28, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
Over 300 pages
posted by Anonymous on May 4, 2014Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2013
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Quite an intere
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
Quite an interesting book and definitely different from most of what I read, this book centers around two sisters who are burying their parents and at the young ages of 15 and 12 are trying to keep up the appearances to avoid being separated. Their inquisitive neighbor enters the picture and provides another voice to the book with his own issues that he is trying to live with.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2013
Posted September 19, 2013
Posted April 19, 2013
This book started out with such intensity and intrigue but quick
This book started out with such intensity and intrigue but quickly fizzled down. It did seem to pick up toward the end, however, there were some parts that were difficult for me to get through. I kept desperately trying to like it and get through it, and it took me putting it down for a few months and coming back to it to seem to be able to pick it up a little easier and continue on to finish it.
Once I got started again, it was a rather fast read.
I felt like the story moved from crisis to crisis, which maybe created just a tad too much drama for one book, that wasn't that long to begin
with. I did find difficulty in following some of the story and the importance of the characters mentioned. The book also is written from the
POV's of the three main characters, but I found the writing to be odd, as in who they were speaking to, sometimes I was uncertain.
I never did really understand the importance of the Jeffrey character that Lennie continually is "speaking to" throughout the story, other than
he was an important person to Lennie. It was difficult to read through as not really any of the characters were likable. Marnie was difficult
and temperamental and just out of control and Nellie was weird, odd, and quirky. Lennie was the only halfway normal and the author tried to
butcher that thought by part of the story line in the beginning. There didn't seem to be many good qualities about any of the characters that
would keep the reader feeling invested in their lives.
I found that the book started out by quickly drawing the reader in, but as quickly as I was drawn in, I was cast out by the slow-moving story.
I did feel that once I picked the book up again after a temporary hiatus, that the story moved along at a more comfortable pace and became
more interesting and worth reading. I seem to think that this book is one of those that either you like or you don't!
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2013
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