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Little Bee

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  235,696 ratings  ·  21,905 reviews
This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there ...
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Bond Street Books (first published 2008)
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Patti Quintano I disagree with some opinions below. I think the story was much bigger than Bee's story . . . that is why the ending sublimate's Bee's little story to…moreI disagree with some opinions below. I think the story was much bigger than Bee's story . . . that is why the ending sublimate's Bee's little story to the bigger story still being written by and in the world.

I think the question of Bee's future is left open-ended, as a symbol of where we are now with the many social and cultural challenges before us as a global community that are presented in the novel . . . our future with these issues looks bleak like Bee's at the "end" of the book, but the end hasn't come yet, the last chapter still unwritten. It's not too late to write a happy ending for us as well, just as you can imagine that Sarah is not going to just walk away from Bee's future, either.

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  235,696 ratings  ·  21,905 reviews

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Feb 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I would have ranked this higher, were it not for the ridiculous hype on the jacket and the annoying Editor's letter at the front; all of which tell me that is book will change my life, that it's a masterpiece. This book stands on its own without needing it.

I also pretty fundamentally disagreed with the assertion that "it's hilarious - although the scene on the African beach is horrific".

This is not a 'hilarious' book - it is one of the most challenging reads I have had this year. It tells the de
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Chris Cleave's ability to float effortlessly between two distinct ethnic voices (Little Bee, a refugee from Nigeria, and Sarah, a young widow in England) as their stories spin out and around and through one another was nearly mystical.

Years before this book opens, the lives of Sarah and Little Bee violently collided on a beach in Nigeria, and when sheer determination and courage bring them back together again every secret of their hearts is unfolded before our eyes.

I found myself reading and rer
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, ‘I survived’”

I have a problem with the compulsive acquisition of e-books and it is a bit out of control. I currently own 215 un-read books on my Kindle and I plan to do something about it. For now, I chose 10 of the earliest bought books and give them 20%. If I like them fine, if not I will not read further. No 2nd chances or let’s try a few more pages. Little Bee is the first book I chose and I am so happy I finally got to it after more than 4 y
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
2021 review: Two years ago something horrifically unforgettable changed the lives of 14 year old Nigerian Girl, 'Little Bee' and the Western couple, Sarah and Andrew, when fate brought together on a Nigerian Beach. Two years later, this book picks up the story of Little Bee who has been in an English immigration detention centre for two years; and the couple back in Kingston upon Thames; all three parties still suffering from extreme trauma, whether they acknowledge it or not!

Although almost fan
Petra is Darla in the book
This is a book you should buy and not borrow from the library. Just to reward the author for such an amazing and exhilarating experience. Its as much like watching a film as it reading a book because the writing is so extraordinarily good (and clever). And this review is so dry because the author wants nothing of his book revealed. "The magic is in the way the story unfolds," he's said, and yes, it is.

And I am sooo going to enjoy hand-selling people this book in my shop. I will have so many hap
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I generally pass on books written by a man in the voice of a woman. And a white man writing in a black woman's voice? No, thanks. But this book gives nothing away up front, and I was hooked before I could worry much about the writer's intentions.

The chapters alternate between Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, and Sarah, an English suburban mom. They are drawn together under extraordinary circumstances, and I found myself regularly surprised by the turn of events. I didn't know how things were goin
I had hoped this would be a really incredible gut-wrencher, heartbreaker of a book, but I feel like it didn't really live up to the potential it had. Like it was a little scattered and unfocused, so instead of showing us exactly what we should see, we are instead shown the things that lie around the thing that we should see, and we have to put the picture of the thing together on our own.

If this book had just been about the relationship of two women who share a horrible event in their history,
Ahmad Sharabiani
Little Bee, Chris Cleave

The Other Hand, also known as Little Bee, is a 2008 novel by British author Chris Cleave. It is a dual narrative story about a Nigerian asylum-seeker and a British magazine editor, who meet during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta, and are re-united in England several years later.

Cleave, inspired as a university student by his temporary employment in an asylum detention center, wrote the book in an attempt to humanize the plight of asylum-seekers in Britain. The novel
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: distant-lands
i can't say anything about the plot of this book because the dust jacket pleads with me not to and i am nothing if not obedient. (but you can read plot points in all the other reviews by rebels) i will say i loved it enough to order in and set aside his earlier book, which had never called out to me before. and this is my favorite cover ... ever.

come to my blog!
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
This book WILL:

1)Make you laugh hysterically.
2)Disturb you mightily.
3)Make you think A LOT.
4)Make you examine your conscience,(provided you actually have one to examine). Especially with regard to immigration issues and the tendency of wealthier nations to throw money at every problem in the hopes of making it go away.

This book MAY:

1)Horrify you.
2)Make you angry.
3)Shock you.
4)Make you cry.

The basic story involves the relationship that develops between Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee girl, and Sa
Have you ever met someone you idolized? (An artist or singer, maybe. Someone super talented or brilliant or famous.) But then when you met them in person you found out they were lame? What a rip-off!

That’s sort of how I feel about this book.

It's the story of two women and how their lives converge. Little Bee is a 16-year-old Nigerian refugee who has seen her entire village and family brutally murdered. Sarah is a 30-something suburbanite juggling career and family. The two women met once on a be
May 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I would have to disagree with the back cover's claim that this book is "often hilarious." This book is anything but hilarious. While there are indeed moments of light reprieve through Little Bee's witty observations and Charlie's adamant insistence of keeping his Batman costume on at all times (to ward off the "baddies"), this book is much more often dark and disturbing.

Briefly, the book centers around a British couple with a troubled marriage who, while vacationing on the beaches of Nigeria in
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Isn't it funny when novels from their origin countries are marketed in the ol' U. S. of A. under a different title because it will 'sell better'. I can just imagine the pain the author must feel when they find that the title that represents their book seems as if it's just not good enough for the American public. I can think of a few such occasions where such a thing has happened:

*Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman = The Golden Compass.

*Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling = Har
2010 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

This is a very sad story, told from two different points of view. There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed and other parts that just bugged me. It’s not a bad read, I just don’t know that I liked it enough to recommend it to anyone. It lacked an ending for me. Maybe that’s why I am not 100 percent on board with it. I like my stories to have a ending.
“Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming. Maybe I would visit with you for the weekend and then suddenly, because I am fickle like that, I would visit with the man from the corner shop instead—but you would not be sad because you would be eating a cinnamon bun, or drinking a cold Coca Cola from the can, and you would never think of me again . . . It can cross deserts and oceans and leave the sound of gunfire and the bi
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Loved this book. Re-read today.
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
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years now and I don't know why I haven't picked it up before now. Covering a range of subjects this book is beautifully written in my opinion.

A terrific story of friendship between two people who were complete strangers. Reading about their lives takes the reader on a journey that will not only have you turning the pages, but it will also leave you wanting more. I have no hesitation recommending this book.
Elyse Walters
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book. I don't know why I waited! It worked the way the author used 2 narrators to tell this story.

The little boy's character was a brilliant contribution --- Adults are no different (we just don't wear our Batman outfit every day). But aren't we always looking for ways to comfort ourselves? Ways to find inner peace? Ways to protect ourselves and those we love?

My respect for this author is HIGH!
I didn't really enjoy this book. The vague synopsis on the back of the book built the story up to be something that it eventually did not live up to.

On it's back cover, Cleave promises the reader that the way his story unfolds will be "magic" and that you will want to tell all your friends about it. While he is partially right in the fact that I do want to share my thoughts with all my [goodreads] friends, it is not for the reason that he thinks I should.

The way that Cleave crafted his story f
Mar 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The first three pages of this book deserve 5 stars. Absolutely. Little Bee is an excellent narrator and they were positively engaging/hilarious/touching/curiosity-inducing.

After that, the story gets pretty heavy. That's not a problem, but it struck me as a uncomfortably incongruous with the cutesy publisher's note on the front book jacket flap. It's got a coy little tone with some stylized all-caps, teasing about spoiling for the story for us, the readers, who are about to go on a magnificent ad
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Amazing!Totally totally loved this book. Everyone should read this book but i warn you ... once you start its really hard to stop reading it!

My favourite from all Chris Cleave's books.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
I loved the first half of the book, but had a hard time getting through the second half. Little Bee, a Nigerian girl who escaped her country after a series of horrific killings, ends up in England. The story follows Little Bee from her time in Nigeria to her difficult transition to England; as well as a British couple, whose lives become deeply entwined with Little Bee. A lot of the effectiveness of the book comes from the plot twists, so I'll leave the plot description at that.

In my opinion, t
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Incendiary a while back I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book. It did not disappoint me. I started reading on Saturday morning and from page one I was totally hooked. I found it really difficult to put down, even when cooking. So many books around in my local book shop are "Summer Reads" so this was a refreshing change.

It's the story of Little Bee, a teenage refugee from Nigeria, and Sarah O'Rourke a British magazine editor. Horror makes their worlds collide and
This book made me so anxious and upset I found myself yelling at the characters. Especially Lawrence. "Lawrence!" I screamed, banging the book down on the table. "You little sh*t! If you hurt her I swear! I swear, Lawrence!" Luckily, I was alone at this time. Otherwise, people might have been concerned.

LITTLE BEE is not a relaxing read. Like so many books I have been reading lately, this book is about TRUTH. And the truth is painful. The truth is anxiety inducing. The truth is that life is not a
Apr 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Chris Cleave is nothing if not ambitious. In Little Bee, he not only takes on the issues of immigration, globalization, imperialism, and personal responsibility, but does so in the voices of two unforgettable women, one a solidly middle-class English fashion magazine editor, the other a 16-year-old Nigerian refugee. As you might imagine, Cleave doesn't deal with these issues in a pat way, nor does he allow his readers to do so. And although parts of this book are very, very difficult to read -- ...more
Aug 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
UGH, What can I say. I hated this book! If you want to read about the most depressing events of a human life than this one is for you. What an emotional downer this book is. It does nothing but show you the evil that can be present in human nature from extramarital affairs all the way to murder. The overall gist of the story is about a Nigerian refugee. Yes, it is a story that should be told, but I would rather read about just the facts in a news article than something I am reading for "pleasure ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book needs to be detained and shipped home to a small English town in Devon..

A friend recommended this book to me so I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, I could not.
I found it sappy, trite, unengaging, shallow, sappy and uninteresting. The only reason I finished it was in the hope it would get better. Fail!

I didn't care for the characters and times I found Sarah, Lawrence and especially Andrew to be creepy (partly because their portrayal is so plasticky). This was like a Mills and B
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Play Book Tag: Little Bee by Chris Cleave – 5 Stars (Rounded up) 1 7 Mar 31, 2021 01:52PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Adult fiction - Couple vacation in third world country. [s] 14 37 Jul 14, 2020 03:10PM  
Little Bee 1 14 Mar 10, 2020 08:20AM  
Little Bee: The Ending (warning - spoilers) 47 1757 Jun 09, 2019 03:35PM  
Cover to Cover: The Other Hand 1 2 May 20, 2019 08:46PM  

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Chris Cleave was born in London and spent his early years in Cameroon. He studied experimental psychology at Balliol College, Oxford. His debut novel, INCENDIARY, won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and is now a feature film. His second novel, LITTLE BEE, is a New York Times #1 bestseller with over 2 million copies in print. GOLD is his thir ...more

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“On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” 408 likes
“We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, 'I survived'.” 385 likes
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