The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees - Lisa O'Donnell

I nearly gave this book 4 stars but then I remembered how quickly it drew me in, and I thought about how terrible I felt any time I had to put it down to do something else (like eat or sleep). A book I never want to put down deserves the full 5 stars, I think.


It kind of sounds like the book is about sisters who murdered their terrible parents and tried to hide the bodies (similar to the bathtub girls), but very early on you learn they are not murderers, they just don't want anyone to know their parents have died because they don't want to be separated by social services. 


This story of two neglected girls and their attempt to hide their parent's death is told from three different perspectives: 15 year old Marnie, her 12 year old sister Nelly, and their elderly neighbor Lennie. The perspective changes often, sometimes with each page turn, but each narrator has a very distinct voice so it's not at all confusing. I think Marnie's chapters were my favorite, they were written very well - she sounds exactly as I imagine a smart 15-year-old in her situation would sound. 


I had a few issues with some of the Scottish/British slang used (mostly by Marnie) and my kindle's built-in dictionaries were no help half the time. Fortunately, the slang wasn't used too often and I was able to figure out what each word probably meant.


The book was definitely dark and gruesome. Actually, for anyone concerned about it, the goriest part is in the first 30 or so pages, so as long as you can handle that, the rest of the book is fine as far as that goes, but still quite dark. Though honestly, if you expect this book to be light and fluffy after reading its description, there is something seriously wrong with you.