Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Book: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A-
For: Fun 
From: I bought it.

Okay, so here's another one I've heard tons about and decided to finally read to see what I thought for myself. The back says you don't need to know what it's about, but I found it doesn't need to be all that secret, so here's what it's about:

There's a girl from Nigeria and she's just been "let out" of the detainment center in London. She's been held  there for two years after trying to come into the country. She has an address and phone number of one person, and so it's that person she calls for help.

The story line flips back and forth between this girl (who has named herself Little Bee) and the wife of the guy whose phone number she has. The wife is going through some pretty major trauma herself and so through many flashbacks, we learn about what caused that particular incident, what's happened to Little Bee and how exactly their lives intertwined before and how they are even more connected now.

It's a fascinating story. And I loved the voice of Little Bee especially. She is a wonderful character, so strong, so much spirit and spunk and very endearing.

But what happens to her, and to the wife also, is, wow, hard to read. It's the sort of stuff that's hard to get out of your head, that you think about a lot after finishing, that keeps you awake at night, that makes you feel so helpless and frustrated and angry. This is the stuff that gives me nightmares way more than the so called "horror" novels.

Despite the horrific nature of the story, the book itself was beautifully written and a very quick and fast read.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed it.

For more on author Chris Cleave click on over to his official site.
Click here for more on Little Bee itself.

Other Reviews:

Book Journey
Alison's Book Marks
Beth Fish Reads
Maw Books Blog
Rhapsody in Books
One Librarian's Book Reviews
.... and many many MANY more!!


  1. Great review! I've been in limbo about this one for a while. Going to add it to my library list.

  2. I guess I'm now the LAST person on the planet not to have read this.

  3. I agree with you, that this is a book that stays with you after you've read it!

    I've heard the audio of this is great, because of all the accents.

  4. Being able to get to this one is what keeps me working like crazy to bring down my backlog of review books.

  5. Andi: Enjoy!

    Gerbera: You should read it still... you always seem to have a different take on the "popular" books than everyone else so I want to know what you think of this one!

    Rhapsody: Oh, accents would be cool!

    Lisa: I've had it on my stack for awhile. Glad to have finally got to it! Good luck to you!

  6. Good review. I remember parts of this book very well. We read it for book club and had a good discussion about it.

  7. I have not read this book yet, but it is sitting on my wish list. I'm glad you enjoyed it in spite of the tough material.

  8. I enjoyed this when I read it at the end of May, too, but I don't remember much of it now.

  9. I've heard so many good things about this book. I have it, but it's been sitting on my shelf for ages. I just never FEEL like reading it. But one of these days..



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