Monday, December 06, 2010

Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

First line: Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.

From the inside cover
We don't want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book.

It is a truly SPECIAL STORY and we don't want to spoil it.

NEVERTHELESS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:

This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there...

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.

My thoughts: This was my book club's selection for our meeting this week. I had seen this book at the library and book store and was intrigued, but it wasn't until we decided to read it for book club, that I picked it up. Little Bee is a beautiful and compelling novel that is told in two voices. One is that of Little Bee, the 16-year-old Nigerian girl trying to find a safe haven in the UK. The other is that of Sarah, an English woman who met Little Bee and her sister briefly on a Nigerian beach. Alternating voices of Little Bee and Sarah circle around what happened that fateful day at the beach. The story unfolds quietly giving you snapshots into the lives of the different characters but without letting you in on the full plot. Some characters you barely get to admire before you leave behind as Little Bee moves on while others develop as the story goes. The book starts as a mystery of sorts, until we learn Little Bee's story, and develops into an exploration of human relationships, love, friendship, grief, and survival. I was hooked from page one and finished the book in two days - having a hard time putting it down.

(I borrowed this book from the library.)


  1. This is one of those books I want to try but can't decide if I think I will enjoy it or not.

    Very nice review. I also think the summary on the book is pathetic.

  2. I agree with Marce--your review is great, but the synopsis that the publisher's listed on the back of the book is ridiculous. Instead of getting me more interested, it actually turns me off and makes me want to pass the book up!

  3. I loved this book - it was definately one of the best books I've read this year! :)


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