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.