Book review: ‘Little Bee’ by Chris Cleave

I’m not sure where to start when I talk about the book, ‘Little Bee’. As I was browsing around the book store, I picked it up on a whim. When I looked on the back cover for a synopsis, there wasn’t much to it. The book promised that I would be a worthy and inspiring read and that’s about it. So I thought, “What the heck” and I bought it.

'Little Bee' care of

Little Bee is a story about two women – Sarah, a young mother living in London and Little Bee, a 16 year- old refugee from Nigeria. When Sarah and her husband vacation in Nigeria, they meet Little Bee where they faced a very unfortunate circumstance; two years later, they reunite.

There are a lot of words I would use to describe ‘Little Bee’, but I’m not sure if inspiring is one of them (as described in the synopsis). Interesting? Yes. Thought-provoking? Absolutely. Poignant? I think so. But inspiring? I’m not so sure. While there are inspiring moments, the majority of the book leaves the reader feeling anxious (about what happened, what will happen and what could happen) and as you’re reading you’re entered into an  internal conversation where you can’t help but think, “What would I do if I was in that situation”. To say the least, this book will definitely make you think.

Chris Cleave is a very talented writer and he managed to effectively narrate this book from the perspective of two very different characters. He also brings attention to an issue that’s often ignored: refugees. Do you know what happens to refugees when they enter into a country other than their own? Let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. And in the case of ‘Little Bee’ it’s down-right heartbreaking; especially when you find out what she’s escaping.

I can’t decide if I liked the book or not, but then again, I’m not sure if I was supposed to.

With that said, I’m glad I read it. It definitely opened my eyes to some things I’d never thought about before. So, if you’re looking for a stimulating novel to read, go with this one. And please, come back and let me know what you think!




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