April 23, 2011

Little Bee, by Chris Cleve

I've heard such good things about Little Bee. And the teaser on the back cover just adds to the intrigue:

This is the story of two women. Their lives collide once fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice...Once you've read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.

Mysterious, right?

Plot: Just as the book cover says, it's the story of two women and one fateful day. The story spans from Africa to the U.K. and covers about two years in the lives of Little Bee and Sarah. I won't tell you more, because as the cover says, it's more magical to learn about for yourself. I will say that I felt like parts of the story -- where Sarah and Little Bee reconnect, for example -- were just glossed over. In those instances I felt that there was so much more that was left unsaid by the author and the plot unfolded a little too perfectly, when in reality, the true circumstances never would have been so easy.

Characters: Both women come from very different backgrounds. Little Bee is wise beyond her years and has seen more in her lifetime than any young woman should. Sarah is brave and fearless. Together they make quite a combination, especially for the peripheral characters -- mainly men -- who come in and out of their lives. They're great characters to read, though I felt like the author could have delved even more into Sarah. Even she was a supporting character to Little Bee when I felt like her story was so much more than that.

Structure: Each chapter alternates viewpoints, offering narration by both Sarah and Little Bee. This gives the reader some great insight into both women and I think it makes for a richer story.

All in all a good story, though I'll admit that the real story didn't quite live up to the hype of the back cover. 4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of this one but am definitely intrigued now.


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