Original book title: Little Bee/The Other Had
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Brombergs, 310 pages
Original language: English
Year of publication: 2012
A colleague of mine recommended this book to me; she said it was a masterpiece. I didn’t think so.
This book is about a young Nigerian girl, Little Bee, which after two years is released from the refugee camps in England. The first thing she does is to visit a man named Andrew O’Rourke. Last time she met him was on a beach in Nigeria.
In another part of England a newly widow Sarah O’Rourke is trying to find her way in life with her son. She often thinks of the holiday trip to Nigeria she had two years ago, which was the beginning of the end of her family. Everything changed that night on the beach when they met a girl by the name of Little Bee.
I do not really know how to start this review. It was not that I hated the book and thought it was horrible, but I did not like it. I really wanted to like it because this an important book that gives you a picture of a refugee camp and a glimpse of a refugee’s horrible existence.
The book is divided so that we follow both little Bee and Sarah in every other chapter. In the beginning, I felt the book was refreshing, especially Little Bees chapters. We get her views on the refugee camp and her new and sometimes horrible experience, but very soon I got tired of her. She appeared a little stupid. The chapters with Sarah were not pleasing. I found Sarah to be an unsympathetic person and her relationship with her son was not credible.
The ending was an anticlimax, leaving me as a reader just confused on what Cleave really wanted with his book.
I’m sorry. This was not a book for me.