Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book #17: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Several people I know recommended this book to me, and I am grateful for the suggestion because it was the perfect book for vacation.

Little Bee is the story of a Nigerian refugee (named Little Bee) in England. In Nigeria she met Andrew and Sarah, a British couple, only once and only for a few minutes, but their lives are forever linked after that day.  The back cover of the book and the description on Amazon all say pretty much the same thing - this is a good book but we really can't tell you what it's about. I find that to be accurate, so I won't attempt to describe it without describing it.

I liked the book. I liked the first 175-200 pages better than the last 75-100. I felt like the author had this amazing story, but then he didn't know what to do once the story was told. The ending was anticlimactic and, well, lame. Also, a character surfaces midway through the novel that I strongly dislike, and that character actually makes me dislike a character I previously really liked. (How's that for confusing?) The novel would have been better as a short story so that the author didn't feel a need to write about the aftereffects of the incident in Nigeria. Just tell the riveting, harrowing, moving part of the story and leave the rest to the imagination.

Would I recommend it to someone else?  Absolutely!  I enjoyed reading it, and at only 260 pages I think other readers would really like it, too.

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