Tori's Reviews > Little Bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
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's review
Jan 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, book-club-books

Maybe I was expecting too much. this book has been a best seller for a long time, and the cover itself describes how remarkable it is. throughout my reading, I wondered how I would rate the book. Sometimes I thought "maybe a 4" - because the writing was really quite good. And then certain things in the story would irritate me, and I would reduce the rating to a "3". Finally I decided - if it has a good ending, I'll try to put aside my disgruntledness (?) and give it a "4". WEll - I didn't like the ending.
The actual story had promise - a 16-year-old girl (who has taken on the name "Little Bee") who has witnessed atrocities escapes from Nigeria and arrives in England. the only people she knows there are Sarah and Andrew, whom she had met when they vacationed in Nigeria a few years before. Cleave's story interweaves Little Bee's story with that of Sarah and Andrew ( who soon commits suicide) and their four year old son Charlie, who thinks he is Batman, and Lawrence, Sarah's lover. My problems with the story were:
1. why would Andrew and Sarah go to Nigeria in the first place - and why would they stay on the beach when they heard a lot of dogs barking and the hotel guard even told them to come inside?
2. I didn't like the conversations between Lawrence and Bee - they didn't feel real.
3. I found it hard to believe that Lawrence - who was married and had three little kids - would sacrifice it all for Sarah - and hard to believe that people wouldn't know about the affair.
4. why did Bee find it necessary to tell Sarah about Andrew's death?
5. why in the world would Sarah take Charlie to Nigeria - didn't she learn how dangerous it was the first time she was there?
6. shy wasn't there a stronger ending?

I guess at times I found the book pretentious - which was a shame because like I said, the writing and imagery were beautiful.
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