Kaley's Reviews > Little Bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
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May 09, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, bookclub, arc
Read from May 03 to 09, 2010

Well, I just had to see for myself what all the buzz was about. As the Book Club Coordinator at RJ Julia, I recommend this book all the time, simply based on what I've heard; I knew there was a lot of fodder for discussion, I knew there was a horrific act that sets off a chain of events that changes the lives of the main characters forever. But I decided to finally dust off the advanced copy that had been sitting on my shelf for months and read it for myself. And I am SO glad I did!
Little Bee is the story of a young Nigerian refugee who fled her home after bearing witness to the destruction and and devastation of her village, and the murder of her friends and family, all in the name of oil. On a beach in Nigeria, she met Sarah and Andrew, an English couple on holiday. I won't say what happened during this encounter (respecting the request of the author to let YOU find out for yourself), but I will say that it forever changes all of their lives. When Little Bee lands in England two years later, she knows no one, and has nothing but Andrew's driver's license with his address. Andrew and Sarah are shocked, to say the least, when this ghost from their past shows up on their doorstep. But the horrific event in their shared past binds them together with such ferocity that they cannot turn her away.
Chris Cleave is a brilliant writer, weaving his tale by seamlessly shifting the narration between Little Bee and Sarah. The jacket claims ..."the magic is in how the story unfolds." It really is true; Little Bee is a page turner, and I finished it in two days because I didn't want to put it down. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, the story is haunting and terrifying, the result is moving and lasting.
I recommend it for book clubs, and for anyone who enjoys great writing and can endure a difficult and painful, if beautiful, tale.
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