Scottish novelist Lisa O'Donnell burst onto the literary scene a couple of years ago with her book "The Death of Bees." It opened with two young girls burying their parents in their backyard.
Their parents were drug addicts and in the novel the girls are determined to maintain their independence using skills they have taught themselves while their neglectful parents were still alive. The book which is both horrifying and darkly funny won great critical acclaim.
Now O'Donnell is back with another novel with a young narrator: "Closed Doors."
It's about the damaging secrets held in a small island community, where 12-year-old Michael tries to learn about the adult world by eavesdropping on his parents.
Lisa O'Donnell talked to MPR News' Euan Kerr about the challenges of becoming a novelist later in life, and how humor has allowed her to tell moving stories about difficult subjects.