Little Bee

A few months ago, I bought Little Bee by Chris Cleave, but it took me a while to sit down and finally crack it open. Over Memorial Day weekend, while lounging on the beach, I finally dug in… and, five hours later, I had to peel myself out of my beach chair and head home because I was starting to get sunburned. It was that captivating.

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Little Bee is a Nigerian runaway exploring a new world and trying to connect with the only two people she knows in a foreign country. I don’t want to give anything away because I really enjoyed that each detail of the story was a complete surprise to me, so I will just say a few things to help you decide if this is a book you’d like to read:

1. It is, by no means, a “feel good” story… BUT, it is beautifully written. The imagery and descriptions pulled me in immediately, and I don’t think I’ll soon forget a single detail of Little Bee’s life and journey.

2. The character development and clear, distinct voices make you feel really connected to the two main narrators.

3. I literally couldn’t put it down and I read it in 3 sittings. I’ve been in sort of a reading slump lately, so it was nice to feel really invested in this story.

    Have you read Little Bee? What’s on your summer reading list this year?

    comments

    1. That sounds like a book I'd like to read…

      I've been in a bit of a slump as well. I just can't get interested, even in books that I love. (I blame the internet! It creates short attention spans!)

      The last thing I read, I'm halfway ashamed to admit, was the Harry Potter series. For somewhere around the 5th time (all 7 books in a row, I mean… some of them I've read more times than that…) But, I'm a Harry Potter nerd, and I'm one of those crazy people who wish Hogwarts was a real place… and I'm okay with that.

    2. I just recently read this as well, in about the same amount of time! Great book. Don't know if you read the Q&A; with the author after the story, but he was asked how well he thought American audiences would relate to the story (especially since it doesn't have the very American idea of living happily ever after). He responded that American audiences can completely relate to the immigration experience.

      It makes you really think about the treatment of immigrants (worldwide) and not trivializing their worth and experience.

    3. I'm reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and I fell asleep reading it last night because I couldn't put it down.

    4. Thanks for the rec! I might have to buy it once I get my iPad to read it on :)

    5. I've been wanting to read this one– I will definitely pick it up now! Thanks :)

    6. @adrienne, I did read the Q&A; with the author — it was really interesting. I agree that it does make you think a little harder about immigration and what some people are really escaping from/trying to overcome.

    7. Yup, just read this one too! Just about broke my heart. My summer has been filled with tons of books. Some of my favorites have been The Help, The Good Earth and Gang Leader for a Day. Cree and I just started Anna Karenina together. So far so good. :)

    8. You know I love this one! It really makes you think about how so many people live every day in similar circumstances, and it totally changed the way I saw immigration. In a literary sense, I applaud Cleave's ability to write a book that is horrifying and beautiful, all at the same time. It's a kick in the gut!

    9. I was so glad that you posted this way back when because you reminded me I had it sitting on my bookshelf. It hadn’t been there for long but was already forgotten. Wow! It was such a beautiful story. Thank you for getting me to get it out!

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