The Death of bees (review by anya W. ’20)

The Death of BeesThe Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Death of Bees is in essence, a story of a few broken people trying to survive life, and look out for each other. Marnie know better than to trust anyone, especially now that she’s got her parents buried in the backyard. Nellie does not understand why these ruffians, her elder sibling included, are incapable of retaining their manners regardless of the trying times cast upon them. Lennie’s just worried about the poor girls who live next door, whose parents seem to have disappeared again.

O’Donnell’s writing is quite a bit better than I originally presumed. While the internal monologue of the main character seems a bit off in the beginning, her writing improves steadily throughout the book, and the oddness of the other characters’ monologues, while somewhat odd, do well to encapsulate themselves as characters and how they are viewed. The bittersweet tale is a masterful study of the effects of childhoods on young people, and on building oneself up after being torn down.

TW: this novel contains depictions of physical and sexual abuse of minors. -Anya W.

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