Title: Little Bee
Author: Chris Cleave
In true book nerd fashion, I got on the plane to Florida with a hefty book I had barely started. And instead of reading that one, I purchased another at the Borders at the airport and cranked through it during the weekend. Plus an additional 80 pages of the original book! (I had a lot of time to kill on the plane and during layovers.)
I had heard a little bit about Little Bee from someone who was reading it for a book club and bought it on that basis. The jacket gives some lame illusion to what it’s about but says if you’ve read the book to not share the secret with anyone else. I gotta say, that marketing ploy is pretty awful. But maybe not, because I bought it anyway.
In truth, I couldn’t put it down. It’s the story of two women whose lives intersect through an unfortunate set of circumstances and ultimately leave the two women connected for life.
Little Bee is a 14-year-old girl from Nigeria who is forever indebted to an Englishwoman Sarah who saved her life two years earlier on the beach in her home country. After escaping and spending time in an immigration detention center, Little Bee seeks out Sarah and her husband as they are the only people she knows in England. Little Bee’s arrival produces upheaval she could have never expected and through the course of the book she eventually finds herself in a situation of choosing the safety of her new English family or jeopardizing her own safety in her new country.
Both Little Bee and Sarah are strong, opposing forces with connecting threads between them. The story is one chapter in the voice of one woman and the next in the other. Getting their viewpoints on the same situation was interesting and telling of their cultural differences.
A quick, interesting read. I could certainly see why it was picked for a book club because there’s a lot of fascinating points that could present diametric opinions creating lots of debate.
Oh, and the former graphic design nerd in me LOVED the cover