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Amazon Best of the Month, February 2009: The publishers of Chris Cleave's new novel "don't want to spoil" the story by revealing too much about it, and there's good reason not to tell too much about the plot's pivot point. All you should know going in to Little Bee is that what happens on the beach is brutal, and that it braids the fates of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan (who calls herself Little Bee) and a well-off British couple--journalists trying to repair their strained marriage with a free holiday--who should have stayed behind their resort's walls. The tide of that event carries Little Bee back to their world, which she claims she couldn't explain to the girls from her village because they'd have no context for its abundance and calm. But she shows us the infinite rifts in a globalized world, where any distance can be crossed in a day--with the right papers--and "no one likes each other, but everyone likes U2." Where you have to give up the safety you'd assumed as your birthright if you decide to save the girl gazing at you through razor wire, left to the wolves of a failing state. --Mari Malcolm
Chris Cleave's Little Bee works because the unflinching, brutal story balances an outwardly political motive with rich, deep character development (and even some welcome humor), focusing narrowly on events before broadening to reveal some larger truths. Cleave's firm grasp of human nature and his unsparing disdain for injustice allow him to articulate lives as different as those of Little Bee and the less-likeable Sarah; both characters, though, are unforgettable. Comparisons between Cleave and fellow Brits Ian McEwan and John Banville are apt. The only dissent came from the San Francisco Chronicle, which took issue with the narrative voices and the rushed pace of the story. All others agreed, however, that Cleave's sophomore effort is, as the Chicago Sun-Times succinctly put it, "a loud shout of talent."Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLCSee all Editorial Reviews
This was an engaging story. It hooked me and made me want to read more at every step of the way. I think the book was supposed to be about the plight of refugees and the corrupt,... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Michael Glaviano
Riveting story about an immigrant from Nigeria, that makes the reader wonder: Would I really help them?Published 4 days ago by mary jean rivera
Chris Cleave's Little Bee is the best book I've read in a very, very long time. There's a handful of books that I come back to over and over again and go into my recommendations to... Read morePublished 8 days ago by wwetaa
Interesting read. The narration is great. One of my favorite fictions works.Published 24 days ago by jdelreal90
I love the way Chris Cleave writes! He delves deeply into each of his characters to bring them alive.
This is one of my very favorite books.
I was hopeful starting the book. The constant referral to the beach and not giving explaining was so annoying. Then finding out what happened, complete let down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Crystal Patton