Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave September 13, 2010Posted by mplibrary in Reviews.
The immigrant situation in England and the cruelty perpetuated by oil companies in African villages receive treatment by Chris Cleave, a writer for the Guardian. This fascinating novel switches back and forth between the voices of Little Bee, a teenage Nigerian refugee who has just spent 2 years in an English detention center, and Sarah, a compassionate British woman. Worlds collided some years before when the two met in a violent episode on an African beach. Little Bee seeks Sarah out upon release from detention. What a survivor Little Bee is, to have witnessed the loss of family and home and lived through unspeakable violence. She plans her life around ways to kill herself quickly “when the men come.” She has witty insights into life in the UK where she has taught herself the Queen’s English in order to assimilate. She is a lesson in the pure joy of living and of hope for the future in spite of all our inhumanity towards one another. An ambiguous ending leaves one wondering exactly what happened. I’d be interested to know what other readers think!