Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Bee-A Powerful Novel

Little Bee by Chris Cleave is a must read for everyone.  I finished it last night, and had to take some time to process what I had read, it was so moving and tremendously powerful.

Little Bee is a young Nigerian teen who has fled the country and taken asylum in England.  Mistakenly released from a detention center after being held there for two years, she ends up at the house of Sarah and Andrew, who  two years ago shared a life altering experience with Little Bee on a beach in Nigeria.

As I read the novel, I was impressed by the author's ability to so fully draw Little Bee as a funny, bright, imaginative teen who has seen and experienced too much in her life.  So much tragedy runs through this story, yet I found myself laughing at Little Bee's observations about life.  Charlie is Sarah and Andrew's four year old son, who refuses to wear anything but a Batman costume morning, noon, and night.  He will only take it off at bath time.  Charlie forms a bond with Little Bee, and the two together have some of the most interesting conversations in the novel.  

I can't say enough about this novel, but I can't say too much without giving the story away.  I am so glad I listened to my co-workers and finally read it, and I look forward to telling customers about it everyday at work.  It's perfect for book group discussions, but is also the type of book that requires quiet contemplation and a tissue or two.  The end will leave you stunned and smiling through your tears.

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