Saturday, March 21, 2009

Book Review.... Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I just finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave and feel a small loss for words about what to write. The publishers took a big risk with the promos for this book, they didn't really tell the reader what it was all about - "We don't want to tell you what happens in this book...nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it" and so they give you a little tidbit about it being "the story of two women whose lives collide one fateful day", but it is so much more than that. First we meet Little Bee and simply fall in love. She is so innocent, but quite insightful. " I wish I was a British pound coin instead of a African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming." Little Bee is a 16 year old Nigerian refugee surviving in a UK immigration detention center. How she came to be in the immigration center is part of the story, as well as how she meets Sarah & Andrew O'Rourke, a young affluent couple from England who were "on Holiday" in Nigeria, very naive to the violence that was raging in the area. Leading up to the tale of violence that links Sarah and Little Bee on that Nigerian beach, we meet a cast of characters from the detention center that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. And it opens your eyes just a bit because you begin to realize that even though this is a fictional book, these detention centers really exist and so do some of the horrors you are reading about. The writing is captivating - and we are drawn into Little Bee's world. We realize how Little Bee is not so different from Sarah. The book is written through both Little Bee and Sarah's voice and towards the end I began forgetting who's voice was speaking to me. The story does not stop at the detention center, and as if their lives were bound by something untouchable on that fateful day, Sarah and Little Bee meet again... I really enjoyed this book! The writing and characters will touch your heart! Make this one of your next reads!

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