Friday, October 1, 2010

Little Bee - Chris Cleave

I loved this book. It was getting a lot of buzz (ha! bee? get it?) so naturally I was skeptical.

At a very high level, a Nigerian girl ends up in the UK as a refugee. This is her story and the story of a British couple she met on a beach when they were vacationing in Nigeria.

The writing was lovely; at times poignant and beautiful. There were passages which reminded me of The Book Thief. A carving out of something beautiful in the midst of something horrific. It was fast-paced, engaging, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. The characters were unique, flawed, interesting. It could have been depressing, but it wasn't.

It alternates both points of view, and timelines. I felt like that worked really well for the story.

It wasn't a perfect book. In fact, for my taste, I found it a bit timid and some parts felt a bit like filler. This was a book that could have punched me in the gut, but the only time I felt "punched in the gut" was in the Q and A section where the author told the true story of what inspired the book. I think it's important to say, though, it takes a lot to punch me in the gut, so while I found it a bit timid, others may not feel that. It definitely is an intense subject matter.

It's an important topic, to be sure. I would encourage anybody on the fence about reading the book: Pick it up. If you've never thought of reading it: Pick it up.

It's absolutely one of my favorites of the year.

5 buzzes out of 5

1 comment:

Dena said...

I completely agree with the association to The Book Thief and thought the same thing as I was reading it. A heavy topic that is told largely from a child's perspective and with such lovely humor really provides the right balance for a profound yet enjoyable read.