Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little BeeSource: Purchased
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: –
Edition: Paperback, 266 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases

The lives of a sixteen-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British woman collide in this page-turning #1 New York Times bestseller and book club favorite from Chris Cleave.

We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

Okay so I picked this up because the summary on the back (^^) is ridiculous. I was re-arranging my literature shelves at the store and turned this one over to see what it was about, and I got that…I honestly didn’t even know how to handle it. Part of me was ready to stuff it back on the shelf and prepare myself to never sell it…because honestly who does that? But instead I decided to read a couple of pages. Well a couple of pages turned into a couple of chapters and before I knew it I was done with the book and I hadn’t even moved from my spot behind my counter.

So now I’ll try to endeavour reviewing this without telling you anything like the summary pleads me not to because I honestly do think the magic of this book is finding out everything for yourself. Going into a book blind can be scary but ultimately there are books out there worth the risk and this is one of them.

Little Bee focuses on an African refugee and her new life in London, and the story starts somewhere in the middle and unfolds in small bits and pieces as the chapters alternate between her story and the story of a woman who has become part of her world. I can’t say that I liked either character at first. However I came to understand Little Bee’s personality more and more, and even though she has an odd way of thinking I appreciated it and as the story progressed I understood it more. The other woman was a bit harder to stomach, but I did love seeing her develop into the person she wants to be. The circumstances in this book are far from perfect and there are a few scenes that put a lump in my throat.

I definitely think the writing style is to be commending in this, considering I’m going through one of my infamous slumps where even the best books can receive ire from me. The writing made it easy for me to just sink into the story and let it carry me.

So how is that for a vague review? If you enjoy books along the times of The Help, Art of Racing in the Rain, or The Secret Life of Bees then go check this one out! It has a voice of its own and found a permanent place on my shelves.

4 stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2014) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

  1. Christy says:

    Yeah, that summery is something. I love going into a book blind though. Well, as much as can I can.

  2. I totally laughed at that synopsis. And it somehow made me want to read the book more. I actually like going into a book blind so I am intrigued. And since it caught your attention and got a pretty good rating, then this might be worth the try.

  3. Glad to hear it was worth the risk even with the infamous slump

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