The Burying Beetle

The Burying Beetle

by Ann Kelley (Author)


It was after I ate King that everything started to go wrong in our entire family, as if someone had put an evil spell onto us, a hex - like a bad fairy godmother had said at my birth, when you are eleven you are going to be struck by a sorrow so big it will be like a lightning bolt. There will be grief like a sharp rock in your throat. Twelve-year-old Gussie was born with a rare, life-threatening heart disease, but it hasn't hampered her curiosity. When she reads about the Burying Beetle, which has the unusual habit of burying dead birds, mice, and other small animals by digging away the earth beneath them, it becomes her mission to find one. As she searches the Cornish coast for the elusive insect, Gussie learns to be like the Burying Beetle, to bury things past and to live.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Edition: 2nd ed
Publisher: Luath Press Ltd.
Published: 07 Jul 2005

ISBN 10: 1905222084
ISBN 13: 9781905222087

Media Reviews

Selected by Publishing News as Title of the Month for May 2005

This is an atmospheric and beguiling book, written with a precision which guards it from sentimentality. - HELEN DUNMORE

Acutely observed, tender, funny and very moving. - MICHAEL FOREMAN

Gussie fairly fizzles with vitality, radiating fun and enjoyment into everything that comes her way. Her life may be predestined to be short but not short on wonder, glee, the love of things as they really are ... I hope Gussie's story sells a trillion, zillion copies. It deserves to. - MICHAEL BAYLEY

I started reading it this morning before breakfast and ignored hunger pangs to finish it in great sadness. It's quite beautifully done. - SUE BAKER, PUBLISHING NEWS

Author Bio

Ann Kelley is a photographer and prize-winning poet who once nearly played cricket for Cornwall. She has previously published a collection of poems and photographs, a book of photos of St Ives families and an audio book of cat stories. She lives with her second husband and several cats on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall where they have survived a flood, a landslip, a lightning strike and the roof blowing off. She runs courses for aspiring poets at her home, writing courses for medics and medical students, and speaks about her poetry therapy work with patients at medical conferences.