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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heidi Reviews Chris Cleave's novel Little Bee

Heidi Cheramie
Little Bee Review
Chris Cleave-Author

LittleBee(Little Bee: A Novel) (Paperback)(2010)Chris Cleave's


Little Bee is an emotional, heartrending read. The main character Little Bee is an incredible, memorable girl with an astounding way of looking at life. She is a sixteen year old Nigerian refugee whom we first meet in a British immigration detention center. Little Bee has spent two years of her young life there.

Sarah is an editor of a British fashion magazine, married to a journalist with a four year old child named Charlie. These two women’s lives collide on a Nigerian beach one fateful day and what occurs on that beach isn’t revealed until half way through the book. The way Chris Cleave builds up to revealing what occurred keeps the reader turning the pages in anticipation.

This is a book that divides readers--either you are going to find this a book about people’s souls, their ethical and moral decisions or a novel that has some unlikable characters that irritate. Surprisingly I found it to be both. However, the character Little Bee made this book special for me. Her witty perspective of the world is truthful, raw, wry and sometimes amusing.

Both women, Little Bee and Sarah are interesting but I kept longing for the chapters that were in Little Bee’s voice. Sarah’s neurosis and her way of dealing with her husband, lover and son often frustrated me but she had an inner strength that I admired. Personally I found her four year old son, Charlie who always wears a batman outfit too babyish for his age. Her lover, Lawrence appeared shallow and insensitive to me.

This is a novel that made me think hard about many world issues. The dark politics of oil, the treatment of refugees, the state of detention centers and the cruelty of men. This book made me feel overwhelming empathy for the plight of refugees and it also made me uncomfortable. It made me question my strength and what I would be willing to do for a stranger. What any of us would do for someone other than our family?

I don’t want to give away any of the plot of Little Bee. It is important to read the book fresh with no idea of the circumstances that bring Sarah and Little Bee together. I recommend this novel to everyone. It will make you experience many emotions and make you think about your place in the world.
I give it 4 Stars! Happy Reading!

Product Details

Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Simon & Schuste (2010)

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