Death of Bees, The

O'Donnell, Lisa

  15 Reviews

Marnie Doyle is candid about the fact that the safest place she has ever been was the neonatal intensive care unit following her premature birth. Fifteen years later, she and her younger sister Nelly are facing challenging circumstances: Abuse and neglect have been their constant companions and now they've just finished burying their parents in their back garden in a Glasgow housing estate. Fortunately their elderly neighbour Lennie is about to offer some avuncular support.

Recounted by three different characters, this is a compelling adventure in suburban dysfunction and survival, reverberating with black humour.

Comments from Groups

A real page turner. Subject was graphic but we were enthralled to the end. Plot was unpredictable. Wellington 036

The group felt it opened our minds and eyes to reveal other worlds that people deal with. This book published in 2012 was a very modern book to read, including modern language, incessant swearing, lack of other adjectives as well as patches of terrible grammar! All enjoyed the style of writing with each short chapter from the perspective of 3 major characters. Coromandel 003

We really enjoyed this book - It was very busy and very black but enough comedy to make it enjoyable. With all the differenct characters, we were impressed with how many different stories were tied together. Newport 013

Everyone enjoyed the quirky nature of the story and the 3 different perspectives from the story tellers. Would highly recommend it. Greymouth 001

Very interesting. Great read, despite language but weak ending. Whangarei 009



TAUR 009
We loved this bleak, darkly funny and unusually enchanting story. We were all glad of the happy ending. What a life those characters had!
NAP 024
Most of the group enjoyed the book. Some found it a tad gruesome. Great discussion about the different characters. A good yarn.
Loved it, a great start to a new year. We enjoyed the style and the story.
NELS 027
Everyone loved it. Interestingly written from several perspectives. We really enjoyed reading different versions of the same event, and how the characters intertwined. Fairly graphic in places but thoroughly enjoyable book and great, very satisfying ending!
CHCH 512
We all loved this book, very well-written. Fell in love with the characters, except the parents! Easy read.
CHCH 423
Mixed views on this book with an overall assessment of mediocre. One reader found the language too offensive. We discussed the justification, or lack of it, for the behaviour of the girls and the veracity, or lack of it, of the revealed story. We found the 3 voice storytelling effective. Good discussion.
This was a well liked, gripping and fast read. It has a great ending with all the loose ends tied up nicely. A satisfying read.
TAPA 001
Really enjoyed the book. Many found the beginning difficult, but those who persisted found it to be great easy reading with good characters and well-written.
ASHB 022
We had a good discussion on this book, and we all agreed that we didn't like the ending as found it too predictable. We thought that the girls were very resilient as they had to look after themselves from such a young age. It was a story that could have happened anywhere.
AUCK 226
We all loved this story. Deceptively simply-written short chapters, conveying deep emotions, images and characters. We enjoyed each character unfolding to us in their own words and through their interactions. A story with compassion, humour, hopelessness and ultimately hope. A strong message that people may be more than, or not at all, what they appear to be.
MILT 002
Many of us found this book anything but pleasant in its opening chapters. However we all managed to persevere with it, and warmed to the three main characters. The discussion at our meeting covered the issues raised in the book in great depth. Poor parenting, drugs and abandonment are not happy things to read about, but the extreme situation presented was believable and well evoked by the author's ability. It was a grippingly real novel to read. "Is there a sequel", one member asked.
We all loved this book! It was quite a romp with an exciting collection of plots and sub-plots. The dark humour and twisted sense of right/wrong presented by unique and quirky characters was delightful. A HIGHLY recommended read for anyone with a quirky sense of humour.
A strange story but we all found it a great read.
NAP 011
Everyone loved this book. Humorous but dark, with hugely entertaining and colourful characters and storyline. Several group members wondered what they had struck after reading the first 5-10 pages, bit it quickly became one of those books which is impossible to put down. A 'must read'.
AUCK 271
The majority of our group found this a very interesting book and all found it easy to read. We all thought the narration by three 'characters' worked very well - it gave us a good insight into what each of them was thinking from a different point of view. We enjoyed discussing the questions - they promoted much discussion.