Sunday, May 16, 2010

Little Bee

This was the second book selected for my new book club. We all agreed that while it was a good book, it wasn't particularly enjoyable to read. Little Bee alternates narratives between Sarah, a British magazine head with a four year old boy who never takes off his Batman costume; and Little Bee, a 16 year old Nigerian refugee who has experienced many, many terrible things.

The two met on a beach (with Sarah's husband and Little Bee's sister) 2 years prior to the start of the novel. The "meeting" on the beach is referenced from the start of the book but doesn't fully reveal itself until midway through the book. They meet back up in the present day when Little Bee illegally enters England as a refugee.

I won't spoil it for you, but I will say this: This book is a major Bummer.

It reminded me that horrible things happen and filled me with privileged guilt. All of us in the book club took issue with similar things in the book - the graphic descriptions of rape and murder were a little overly horrible, it was incredibly disturbing to read, few of the characters were very likable and several elements seemed to lack either continuity or believability (It is worth saying that I definitely believe that terrible things happen in places like Nigeria (and other places as well, for that matter), it was just some of the details in this particular story that I struggled with on occasion. Which I can't call into question without major spoilers).

With all that said, it was a terribly readable book, I had a very hard time putting it down, and tore through it in about 3 days flat. I expect we'll be seeing a film made of it within the next few years.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

I really liked "Little Bee".What happened to her wasn't pleasant to read but atrocities like that go untold every day.I also loved seeing the good and bad within the characters. It left me wondering, how many people would have cut off their own finger to save another? The only thing about the book that I didn't really like was the ending.