The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray is a sharply funny novel that the New York Times named one of the top books of the year. It follows the declining fortunes of the Barnes clan, a wealthy Irish family of four whose lives begin to go downhill following the financial crisis of 2008. Dickie’s car business is failing and he’s spending far too much time building a bunker to fend off the apocalypse. Imelda, his wife, is desperately selling her jewelry on eBay. Teenage children Cass and PJ are also struggling. Former star student Cass is binge drinking instead of studying and PJ is making elaborate plans to run away from home. The novel cleverly moves backward and forward in time to determine the precise moment when everything in Barnes’s life begins to unravel.