Barb's Reviews > Little Bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
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's review
Mar 24, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, read-in-2011, book-club-reads, most-disappointing, everyone-but-me-loves
Read from March 20 to 21, 2011

A slice of literary brilliance sprinkled with what I can only think of as literary cow pies.

I can't figure out why Chris Cleave created so many beautifully written passages and then with the same keystrokes inserted such a horribly rendered and completely unnecessary character as Laurence into his story. I felt this juxtaposition of brilliantly imagined and horribly depicted (and or completely unbelievable) wove its way through the entire novel. I wonder if some of what I thought was ridiculous and unrealistic was supposed to be humorous?

I loved Little Bee but I did not feel any affection for the adults in this novel and once they were introduced things went down hill dramatically, what came afterward seemed like it was written by a different author. There were far too many events that made no sense and did nothing but detract from the story.

My biggest complaint about this book is the potential that was wasted. If Cleave had stayed focused on Little Bee and had written the entire book in the same vein as the first few chapters narrated in her voice, this could have been a completely brilliant novel. Sadly I think I have to mark this as "most-disappointing for 2011" and admit that I feel ripped off even though I borrowed it from the library.
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Reading Progress

04/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Kathy (new)

Kathy I'm reading this now!!!

message 2: by Barb (new) - rated it 1 star

Barb What do you think so far?
I'm considering this for my book club for our March read, would it be good for that? We tend to like discussions about women's issues and race.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

One of my favorite books last year. . . amazing characters and ideas.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I am so surprised! I LOVED this book. It is helpful to know how there are many reactions to a work. . .helps when someone doesn't like my own!

message 5: by MBP (new)

MBP Love the first sentence of your review!

message 6: by Barb (new) - rated it 1 star

Barb Thanks Mary Beth :0)
Eileen, I think it's one of those books that people will love or hate, either you get swept up in the story and love it so much you aren't bothered by the cow pies or the cow pies just wreck the beauty of the story for you.

Basmah I'm at page 99. Going to stop reading the book.

Jules I agree with this review. The beginning of the book has some of the most beautifully written passages but Lawrence turned the story in the wrong direction.

Joan Yes, the character of Lawrence was the one "sour" note. He didn't come across in any way as someone Sarah should be attracted to or like. I really wanted Sarah to wake up and act like a parent sooner.

message 10: by Lenore (new)

Lenore Rauch I disagree. Lawrence made perfect sense and I completely believed the entire dynamics/storyline of the relationship as well as the complex nature of the man himself.

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