BookBrowse Reviews Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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Little Bee

(aka The Other Hand)

by Chris Cleave

Little Bee
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Readers are likely to find much to like about Little Bee. Its controversial underlying themes, thorny moral dilemmas and deep emotional impact will make this novel a popular choice for book clubs

It's unfortunate that Little Bee's publishers chose to market the book with such a gimmicky plot summary, as it may turn away as many readers as it attracts. It is accurate to say, though, that the manner in which the story unfolds is a major part of its appeal. Many authors engage readers by sparking their desire to know what comes next. Chris Cleave, however, creates suspense around what happened before.

The title character in Little Bee is a teenager from Nigeria attempting to find refuge in England. She appeals for help to the only people she knows outside her homeland: Sarah, the publisher of a trendy London magazine, and her journalist husband, Andrew. As Little Bee progresses, questions continually arise in the reader's mind. (Why did Little Bee need to flee Nigeria? How did she and Sarah meet? Why is Andrew so devastated by Little Bee's reappearance?) Rather than ...

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