Book Review – Little Bee

Little Bee

Book 43 was recommended by a friend – one who actually nabbed the book for me since she already owned it. It falls into what is probably my current favorite genre based on what I’ve chosen to read this year and what I’ve loved reading this year, so I had no issue deciding to squeeze it in this December.

Book 43:
Little Bee
by Chris Cleave

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

August 2008

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Little Bee is about the intermingling stories of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee and Sarah, a British journalist. When their paths cross on Sarah’s unlikely vacation to a beach in Nigeria, the two begin the process of learning what they would do to save their families, their selves and humanity. Two years later, skeletons in the closet, their paths cross once again and the two are lead to put into action their beliefs while watching fate play out. Can they save each other? Can they save themselves?

Favorite Quote(s):

“Nkiruka loved music and now I saw that she was right because life is extremely short and you cannot dance to current affairs.” 

-Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Costa Book Award Nominee for Novel (2008)
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2009)


My Overall Rating:
3.5 – The story was great. It had all the right plot points, some elements of surprise, some characters who tugged at my heartstrings, but I felt like there could have been more. I could be wrong, but I think this type of action is a bit of an untapped market in the literary world, which makes me feel the author missed a teaching opportunity. I would have loved to learn more about what was going on in Nigeria at the time of the story. I would have loved to learn what the British thought of the situation. Instead, it felt like the reader was supposed to assume Nigeria was bad and refugees aren’t welcome elsewhere.