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Little Bee Hardcover – Feb 10 2009


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Hardcover, Feb 10 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bond Street Books; First Canadian Edition edition (Feb. 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038566530X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385665308
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #394,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow....this is a book you need to read. Yes - need.

Quoting from the flyleaf of Little Bee:

"We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something , so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again. The story starts there. Once you have read it you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how it unfolds."

Okay I was sceptical when I first saw the flyleaf, but then I started to read, and I couldn't put it down. And guess what? - I 'm going to honour the request to not tell you what happens. I know - what kind of review is that? But I think this book is a journey every reader should take on their own. What I will tell you is that author Chris Cleave has created a powerful, moving, exceptional story. The idea was inspired by his childhood in West Africa and by a visit to a British immigration detention centre. The character of Little Bee and her views of the world and life are heartbreaking and compelling. Cleave has created amazing prose, such as:

"Learning the Queen's English is like scrubbing off the bright red varnish from your toenails, the morning after a dance. It takes a long time and there is always a little bit left at the end, a stain of red along the growing edges to remind you of the good time you had."

The narrative moves between Little Bee and Sarah. What is interesting are their differing views on the same events. All of the supporting characters, Sarah's husband, lover and son are all powerfully written, provoking strong reaction and emotion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Petec on March 25 2013
Format: Audio CD
Little Bee is about a Nigerian refugee. There are two main characters telling her story: herself and a British woman, Sarah. Each has a chapter and the chapters intertwine sequentially.
I've seen reviews with complaints, I guess no one was actually talking about the audiobook which I found fascinating.
I was happy for the bookmark feature as this book has tremendously beautiful metaphors that I wanted to remember. It is well read and well written. It generates feelings, emotions; it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. If this is not great literature then I do not know what is.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Schmadrian TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 3 2009
Format: Hardcover
This novel, told from multiple points of view, sears in at least as many ways, testimony to the author's abilities.

Having lived in the UK, I found myself nodding along with some of the sections, while wincing in others. 'Little Bee' manages to inform without resorting to preaching, and even the heightened drama bits were executed so well as to retain their effectiveness.

Mr. Cleave gets the voices right, gets the characters right, and in the end, gets the story right.

While not an 'easy read', the novel is more than worth the effort required to get through the heartbreaking passages. It reminds us of circumstances most are unfamiliar with, and of our -sometimes lacking- humanity.
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Verified Purchase
I just didn't find this particularly believable. The story is quite heavy and without it being believable, it ends up being jut a downer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It gives an insight into the troubles met by illegal immigrants. Some of the passages were difficult to read because of the brutality but necessary to the telling of the tale. I liked and empathized with the characters.
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By smv on June 20 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the same book in UK it goes under this name In North America its called Little Bee some books do change titles
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Format: Paperback
This novel captured me from beginning to end. Full of tiny little shocks and recognitions, the plot is haunting and the narrative switches from the two main characters. It is suggested that the plot not be revealed so that others may enjoy this book without foreknowledge. So I won't. Suffice to say it is a must read. And I would read again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mahbubul Karim on Oct. 21 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read written by Chris Cleave, and found his crisp writing to be highly readable, entertaining, and at the same time Little Bee has that unmistakable power rekindling reader's interest exploring the painful reality that many fellow human beings go through every single day around the globe.

The central character Little Bee, whose real name is Udo, meaning peace, recollects childhood memories with her family, adventures with elder sister, and horror in the forms of boots and guns that came to their village, robbing her childhood innocence, while fleeing to a promised land does not bring that very promise of sheltering persecution from the paid thugs.

Involvement of a family of journalist, the 1 meter height "batman", gives this tragic story another dimension and perspective, from the eyes of a protector, who feels so helpless protecting a refugee child from the onslaught of endless bureaucracy, and bullets. Amid the gloom and waves of sorrow, also lies satire from Little Bee, whose "Queen English" describing the promised land, her native country's convoluted politics, though piercing, provide light way of responding to constricting cruelty with refreshing humor.

Great book and a great story! Kudos to the author Chris Cleave writing a courageous book for the dispossessed, and the world of refugees.
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