Book Club Buzz

Little BeeYou see what I did there with the headline? Because my book club read Little Bee by Chris Cleave this month.

Anyway, Little Bee is not on my mom’s list, but I’m sure it’s a book she would have been interested in since it’s been on a lot of bestseller lists.

So what did the group think? We liked it… we think. We went in not really knowing what to expect. The official book description really didn’t help:

It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it.

Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:

It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.

The story starts there, but the book doesn’t.

And it’s what happens afterward that is most important.

Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

Despite mentioning a horrific event, this description made us all think of something much more light-hearted than what we got. What we got was brutal scenes, graphic events and depressing consequences. Little Bee is the story of a Nigerian girl who’s life intersects with a British couple’s in a terrible incident in Africa. Two years later she makes it to England and seeks out the original couple. The book is the result of that reunion. And it is intense.

Yet, somehow, Chris Cleave is able to add some levity. The characters manage to maintain some sense of humor and a small child adds a more cutesy viewpoint. These elements are necessary to keep the whole book from feeling too heavy. And it more or less succeeds. As heartbreaking as the plot is, Little Bee is a quick read and left our group with plenty to discuss (other than the food!).

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One response to “Book Club Buzz

  1. The hell? The description sounds like me trying to explain Lost to someone without spoiling anything. (Subsituting “Island” for “African”)

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