Katina's Reviews > Little Bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
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's review
Apr 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010
Read from April 20 to 30, 2010

BOOK CLUB BOOK: We talked at book club about how the publicist assigned to this book did an excellent job building up hype and mystery. If you read the jacket, you'll come away knowing virtually nothing about the plot.

To sum up briefly without giving much of anything away, the book follows the intersecting lives of Little Bee - a refugee from Nigeria who is detained as an illegal entrant to Great Britain in the beginning of the book - and Sarah O'Rourke - the publisher of (what sounds like an annoyingly hip) women's magazine who lives outside of London.

I loved Little Bee. Felt ambivalent, and often frustrated by Sarah.... but, well done Chris Cleave. I'm always impressed by authors who can write a book with two such distinct narrative voices. I guess that's silly. If an author is good at writing, why would weaving two narrators into a book be such a difficult feat? Still, Sarah and Little Bee played well off each other and I enjoyed how the book bounced around in time, into the past, and present, and back again. The themes surrounding citizenship and refugees were especially poignant for me as was, what I thought to be the overarching (two-part) question - "At what point does your selflessness end? For whom are you living?"
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