Little Bee | Chris Cleave

Friday, October 30, 2015

How Far Would You Go For Someone You Had Never Even Met?
It isn’t often that I come across a book that leaves me speechless.
Little Bee is a novel about the strange connection between a young Nigerian girl (Little Bee) and a well-to-do British magazine editor (Sarah).
In Nigeria, the unthinkable is happening: villages are being burned, people are being killed, and survivors are being hunted—all at the hands of an oil company. Little Bee and her sister escape from the jungle, only to be confronted by the very people from whom they were trying to escape.
While lives are being torn apart in Nigeria, the same can be said about families in Britain as well. Sarah is struggling in a failing marriage at home, and can’t seem to focus her attention in the right places. While searching for a true direction in life, her past comes back to haunt her. Her biggest choice becomes whether or not to face reality, or continue living in her makeshift, unhappy lifestyle.
Originally, I chose this book because the title was Little Bee. Since my husband is a beekeeper, anything with the words "bee" or "honey" stand out, and this book was no exception. As I began to read, I discovered that the book had nothing to do with bees or beekeeping, but had everything to do with real world issues, such as refugee camps, death, and the stretch of power held by oil companies. 
This novel is a work of extreme talent. Taking from real-world experience, Chris Cleave (Incendiary) gives readers a glimpse into the way of life in a British refugee camp—much different from what many would expect, in small African villages, and in upscale suburban London. Through the voice of Little Bee, Cleave creates an emotional account of life as an African refugee, including the death of family and friends, the terror of being caught as an illegal, and the comfort in making friends. On the other hand (as the book was originally titled), Cleave’s account of Sarah’s life provides a chilling reality check for those who are in a struggling relationship. The overall story will leave you speechless, and wanting more.
I could go on, but as the back cover mentions: “The magic is in how the story unfolds.”