Thursday, February 10, 2011

Little Bee

Author: Chris Cleave
Published by Simon & Schuster 2008
Review written by Nellie

Little Bee has two voices, that of a Nigerian refugee, a young woman who calls her self, Little Bee and Sarah, a writer from London.
     The lives of these two women collide in a moment of terror on a Nigerian beach. It is a moment that ties their stories together for life.
     The tale is a work of fiction that speaks the truth as it pulls us into the lives of these two women who must each learn her own identity in a world that seeks to define them.
     Little Bee has seen things and experienced events that were supposed to leave no witnesses. It is this experience that causes her to flee from her small world next to the African jungle.  She flees with her older sister just as this world, the world of their childhood, ceases to exist. Her co-conspiritor in the tale is Sarah, a solidly middle class woman making a good living as a trendy magazine editor who sees herself as not quite a wife, not quite a writer not quite a mother.    Their story unfolds as each woman is buffeted about by circumstances that urge her to claim an identity of her own, apart from the men who come after them.
     Little Bee flows easily from page one to the end of the book which is not the end of the story. It is a tale of horror about redemption and the strength of human character which may cause its readers to re-examine their own lives as each of us continues to fine-tune our own identity and how we fit into our world.
   I recommend Little Bee to readers of all ages.  It is would be a good read for a high school woman, though the scenes of horror and short sexual descriptions call for maturity and discretion. With its accompanying study guide it is a good choice for book clubs and discussion groups.



Unknown said...

This is quite an interesting site you have. You have quite a varied selection of books. I'll be visiting again for sure.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

Mark, Thanks for visiting. Be sure to write your own review here if you have read anything interesting or something really bad lately

Nicole Pearce said...

I think certain books call to us at certain times in our lives. Those of us who read a lot as I am sure you can relate find that books come into our lives at the right time. I am thinking it is not the right time for me and Little Bee. I purchased this book when it first came out. Many friends recommended it and loved it. I however am feeling frustrated as I just can't get into it. Ready your review I will have to give it another shot. Maybe now is the right time.
BTW...I am really enjoying your site. I will look through some of your other reviews soon.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

Nicole, Little Bee can be hard to get into, but soon the story pulls you in though with a bit of dread as you wonder about what incident brought Bee to you. I was very confused about what was going on the first few pages. Read it wen you are ready.

SNN said...

This riveting novel clarified and distilled several themes. Such a hugely unpopular topic as that of illegal immigrants was shown in the light of those who are escaping horrors of which many of us in the west have no perception. The nebulous issues involved in interpersonal relationships and the myriad miscommunication and faulty feelings one can experience was also handled with an amazing clarity--how we can mislead ourselves for both the good and bad in such relationships. And lastly, there is the clear picture of how little we live--for fear of taking a stand. I would give this a 4 1/2

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

SNN, I really like what you said about how the book shows that we fail to live fully when we deny our feelings. Many of us are afraid of how our lives will be changed if we step in to the fray.