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Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The Book:

A 16-year-old Nigerian girl Little Bee is released from a UK detention center. She is on her own and reaches out to the only couple she knows Andrew and Sarah. She met them on a beach in Nigeria when the couple were vacationing there. Andrew does not take her phone call positively and when she reaches their house; it is the day of his funeral.

Now Little Bee, Andrew’s widow Sarah and 4-year-old Batman Charlie need to live together and figure out how to make things work. Does Little Bee get to live in this country? Will Sarah be able to help her or will she need Little Bee’s help?

The View:

I picked ‘Little Bee’ as it was recommended by my book club. There have been times when I have not enjoyed the selections by my book club but I had already heard so much about ‘Little Bee’ that I was looking forward to reading this.

‘Little Bee’ is one hell of an engaging story. The story starts at a UK detention center where four immigrants including Little Bee are due for release. Little Bee calls Andrew and Sarah the only people she knows in this country and tells Andrew that she will be coming to meet them. Her entry back into their lives after that fateful day at a beach in Nigeria has its own ramifications. That day had left a deep scar; now Sarah and Little Bee have to make the decision to help each other through this difficult time.

I started the book and right off the bat fell in love with Little Bee and Yvette.I was very disappointed that Yvette was not brought back as I was hoping that Little Bee would get to meet her just one more time before she left. Yvette’s language and style is worth mentioning.
Little Bee is a character that would stay with you for a long long time after you close that book. She had been through a lot and still had the strength to go on. I was hoping that Chris Cleave would not finish the book without telling us her real name and when she finally reveals it I had goosebumps – that moment was so serene and I could picture myself standing there right next to her.
I liked Sarah but not her relationship with Lawrence. To be honest, I didn’t mind the affair as much as I minded her sleeping with him while Little Bee and Charlie were at home. Charlie was huggable and an absolute delight. His antics were realistic and reminded me of a darn adorable kid I know who refused to get out of her favorite costume.

‘Little Bee’ is a gripping and impactful read. There was as much suspense as sorrow and the way the events were being narrated alternately between the two woman made me spellbound. This is a well-told heartbreaking story that is probably happening to women in the third-world countries. Rated a 5 on 5  and do not read it when you are looking for something light and relaxing.



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