Sort of The Secret Garden for grown-ups, Australian novelist Morton’s sophomore effort is a romantic (in the broadest sense of the word), quietly dramatic saga of family secrets that spans four generations and two continents. The mystery at the heart of the story is not too hard to figure out, but it’s Morton’s ease with which she moves backward and forward in time to tell her story that really proves captivating.
Lisa O'Donnell discusses and signs The Death of Bees
01/07/2013 7:00 pm
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren't telling. While life in Glasgow's Maryhill housing estate isn't grand, the girls do have each other. Besides, it's only a year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.
As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? Lennie takes them in—feeds them, clothes them, protects them—and something like a family forms. But soon enough, the sisters' friends, their teachers, and the authorities start asking tougher questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls' family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.