The Death of Bees – by Lisa O’Donnell Winner Commonwealth Book Prize 2013
‘I’m Marnie. Too young to smoke, too young to drink, too young to fuck, but who would have stopped me?’Hazlehurst housing estate, Glasgow, Christmas Eve 2006. 15-year-old Marnie and her little sister Nelly have just finished burying their parents in the back garden. Only Marnie and Nelly know how they got there. Lennie, the old guy next door, has taken a sudden interest in his two young neighbours and is keeping a close eye on them. He soon realises that the girls are all alone, and need his help – or does he need theirs? As the year ends and another begins, the sisters’ friends, their neighbours, and the authorities – not to mention the local drug dealer, who’s been sniffing around for their father – gradually start to ask questions. And as one lie leads to another, darker secrets about Marnie’s family come to light, making things even more complicated.