This book written for young teens. It tackles some tough issues like racism and illegal vs. legal immigrants in Britain. This is a British book writteThis book written for young teens. It tackles some tough issues like racism and illegal vs. legal immigrants in Britain. This is a British book written in 2010, but still timely for today. And the words and status are different: refugee (legal) and asylum seeker (pending status). The story follows a young girl already struggling with her broken family and recent passing of her Grandfather, when she saves a man drowning in the sea. He turns out to be an illegal immigrant from Iraq, where her new friend Samir is also from.
Now how did this man, Mohammed, get there, thrown from a boat after being beat up from a human smuggler? Mohammed already knew his status, as The Crown denied him refugee status based on the fact he didn't work as an interpreter for Britain for a full year. I was confused by the timing, he applied for status before leaving Iraq? This small detail didn't help. And there were times in the way he behaved that didn't ring true. So it's not a great book, but decent.
Alix was already on the path to understanding what Iraq was like for its citizens from her new friend Samir. With Mohammed tossed in the story takes on action and more drama, and helped to confront racism among the adults and her school mates, some of whom are bullies. Other difficult issues for Alix in her home life were not explored in depth. Have to say I did like how her Mom was described as a punk in her youth.
U.S. publication in October 2016, already out in the UK. Good for teens. Book rating: 3.5...more
This is a slow story. And not a very happy one. No, it's more of an issues book. There are some good parts in the book, interesting phrases and writinThis is a slow story. And not a very happy one. No, it's more of an issues book. There are some good parts in the book, interesting phrases and writing, but other times I literally rolled my eyes at the predictability and stereotyping.
The story is told with two points of view, one is Little Bee, a Nigerian woman who is a refugee in Britain. The other is Susan, a woman Little Bee met on a beach in Nigeria two years prior. Susan and her husband were there on holiday, trying to patch up their marriage. We get to what happened at the beach about half-way through. We find out why Little Bee had Andrew's driver's license and how Sarah lost her middle finger. Andrew recently committed suicide, apparently due to what happened. And so the story unfolds.
It feels like a book that could have been more, it was striving but didn't quite reach the goal.
Compelling and contemplative. The book takes place over a day, with many moments of reflection and memories. This is a moody novel, slow paced and witCompelling and contemplative. The book takes place over a day, with many moments of reflection and memories. This is a moody novel, slow paced and without much of a plot. We slowly learn who the narrator is, although he remain unnamed. Where he grew up is referred to only as the desert and the city he now resides, where he traveled to suddenly one day, without thought, is only referred to as an old European city. However, one can deduce the place is likely based on Istanbul due to certain aspects mentioned in the story.
Although the novel is short it is thick on detail and substance. Even though I just read the book, I'm sure I will reread it again. This is one you can revisit and glean more out of the pages. The following quote is only one aspect of the story:
"So, what she said about noticing a place on the day you move in and out was, I supposed, a general comment about arriving and departing, connecting and separating. And I supposed that what she meant was that one's identity while one lives in a place is inextricable from that place. And only when the self perceives the place as separate does one see it as it truly is."...more
Didn't like this book so much. I pushed myself to finish reading it, but ultimately was disappointed. The main character is a theatre actress...meh. TDidn't like this book so much. I pushed myself to finish reading it, but ultimately was disappointed. The main character is a theatre actress...meh. The only interesting part was when she and a group of family and fellow friends from Poland take up residence in Anaheim and claim themselves a little community. But this didn't last and the rest of the book took a nose dive. Too often the writing style or point of view changed, it was distracting and disorienting. I supposed this was a great work of fiction, but wished I'd spent my time with something else....more