Friday, October 25, 2013
The Death Of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them was beloved
This opening is one of the most startling beginnings I can remember. Marine has spent her childhood taking care of herself and her younger sister, Kelly. Their parents are drug addicts and it is never as important to provide for their children as it is to get the next fix. So when they die from their habits Marnie decides to just keep on taking care of her family and not risk being separated from her sister by the social services system.
Lennie is their next door neighbor, an elderly gay man whose partner has passed on. He realises that the girls are alone, and starts to have them over to feed them. Soon a new family has formed. Kelly thrives under the attention and Marnie starts to relax.
Unfortunately, things don't last. It turns out her dad had stolen money from the local drug dealer and he wants it back. The girls' grandfather shows up and wants them to move in with him although he is a stranger to them. Will the girls ever catch a break and find peace and a family to love?
Lisa O'Donnell has written a compelling novel about family and the lengths we will go to in order to feel we belong. Marnie is a tough, no nonsense heroine that the reader can't help but to cheer for. This book is recommended for readers ready for an uplifting book that will surprise and delight them.