72. Little Bee (Chris Cleave)


Little Bee is the story of lives connected one fateful day on the beach in Nigeria.  It is the story of 2 Nigerian girls fleeing destruction running into an English couple who are trying to mend their marriage.  What happens that day sets in motion a collision course that has a lasting tragic impact leaving a dismembered finger, two dead and a connection between two women.

The story is told from two perspectives.  Little Bee, the Nigerian refugee, begins the tale from a Detention Centre in London where she has learned the “Queen’s English” and is hoping for a better life.  She has clung to a driver’s license and business card that were left on the beach through her defection and detainment.  The second narrator is Sarah, a grieving wife and a mother to “Batman”, a young boy who refuses to remove his Batman costume.  She is struggling with her own role as a magazine editor, considering how she can publish articles that make a difference.

The slip cover of the book shares “We don’t want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in the book. It is truly a SPECIAL STORY and we don’t want to spoil it” which led me to wait for something magical to happen.  I did enjoy the story but this teaser really was overstating the “magic” of the book as I waited for a twist or exciting climax.  For those that like an ending with lose ends tied up, the reader is left with questions as to what happens next.

This book was engaging and I had trouble putting it down so ended up doing a combination of reading and listening to the audio book.  The audio book had a great narrator who sounded like she could be Little Bee and enabled the listener to vividly picture the settings.  Listening to this novel helped my commutes pass quickly.

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