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Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

It has taken me some time to write a review about Little Bee, by Chris Cleave. It is one of those stories of beautifully written inhumanity that haunts me and takes time to process. 

Little Bee is a young Nigerian girl who has learned to speak like the Queen of England in order to survive as a refugee. Her language is eloquent and mesmerizing. Her life has been violently tragic.

An accidental meeting with a British couple on a lone beach in Nigeria changed all of their lives. Sarah, the British magazine editor makes a great sacrifice in order to rescue Little Bee. Little Bee's sister and subsequently, Sarah's husband, are not so lucky at all. 

After escaping Nigeria and spending two years in a British refugee
prison camp,  Little Bee finds her way to Sarah. The women support each other as Sarah tries to find meaning in her life and as Little Bee tries to escape the reality of hers.

"In our small garden I have made a wild place to remind me of chaos. Our modern lives are too ordered, too antiseptic."

Cleave challenges the readers' ideas of ethical choice and civility in this novel and leaves us to question the meaning of our own comfy lives in a world filled with ignored suffering. 

Please note that this novel contains graphic violence.

I believe you would like this novel if you have read and enjoyed
The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larson and of course, Cleave's first novel, Incendiary

1 comment:

  1. Amazing book - my brain goes back to it occasionally and it's been over a year since I read it. Haven't read Incendiary - will have to pick that up soon.