Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Genre: contemporary fiction, social commentary
FTC Disclosure: bought from Target
Published: 2008
Pages: 266
Content: There is some language, violence, and sexual situations.

In a Line: I liked it! I really liked it!

I just really enjoyed how Cleave was able to tell the story by using two completely different women. I loved each woman's perspective. They each had something to learn and something to share.

Little Bee is a refugee from Nigeria fleeing for her life. Sarah is a magazine editor who has just lost her husband. Little Bee seeks out Sarah since she is the only person she knows in England after she leaves the refugee center. Sarah struggles with mourning her husband, raising her son Charlie, and figuring out how to deal with the skeletons in her closet. Little Bee has secrets too...But they both learn how to forgive, to move on, and to love.

Sarah isn't perfect, far from it...but it made her more real, a deeply flawed and human character but one that can rise above it all and live. Little Bee is young and yet so wise beyond her years. She is able to sense what is needed and provide it. The bond that forms is truly remarkable.

The story is horrific and beautiful and I really enjoyed being along for the ride. This is an important story to be told on immigration and refugee centers as well as commentary on how Africa continues to be forgotten. It's a beautiful wake-up and I recommend it for everyone.

Quote: I felt my heart take off lightly like a butterfly and I though, yes, this is it, something has survived in me, something that does not need to run anymore, because it is worth more than all the money in the world and its currency, its true home, is the living. And not just the living in this particular country or in that particular country, but the secret, irresistible heart of the living. I smiled back at Charlie and I knew that the hopes of this whole human world could fit inside one soul.


  1. I need to read this. I got it for 25¢ at a friends of the library sale over the summer, but I haven't touched it yet.

  2. The book sounds lovely on its own merit, but I'd read this for the title alone.

  3. Sounds beautiful. I will have to add this to my reading list.

  4. I've got to read this one soon for my book club. So glad to hear you liked it so much!


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