Little Bee

Little Bee

by Chris Cleave

Teresa Joel: Little Bee introduces us to a life that most of us will never, fortunately, have to endure: that of a refugee. The atrocities suffered by Little Bee and her family opened my eyes to another world and the topic of illegal immigration. We see how England handles immigration; how ironic that the opening quote of the book is "Britain is proud of its tradition of providing a safe haven for people fleeting [sic] persecution and conflict." The connection between the two main characters is slowly revealed through the first part of the book, as is the opposition of the character's personalities and moral values: Sarah is the self-absorbed career woman involved in her extramarital affair, while Little Bee is mature beyond her teenaged years while simply struggling to survive in this life. The writing is enlightened: "...when I say that I am a refugee, you must understand that there is no refuge." This is a book that may help us all to reflect on our priorities for our own lives.
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton: We all read the newspaper or watch TV and see the violence and tragedy befalling people around the world. It seems so far away from home; from our day-to-day lives. What can one person do? Little Bee is a Nigerian girl who meets an English couple vacationing on the beaches of her country, and the encounter brings that tragedy and violence close to home, personifies it, and gives it a face and a name. And it changes her life and theirs. A well written novel, Little Bee brings the reader closer to understanding, one-on-one, why people flee their homeland. The journalistic side of author Chris Cleave contributes to this compelling story.
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: Little Bee, a refugee from Nigeria, is an endearing young women. She is bright and enthusiastic about life in spite of the horrors she saw and experienced in her homeland. This story opened my eyes to the reasons why so many individuals flee their native countries in spite of the many dangers that they have to surmount along the way. Little Bee searches for and finds the couple that she previously met on the beach in Nigeria. Her arrival at their home in England causes a series of events to take place which dramatically changes the lives of everyone involved. The author does not sugar-coat the details of the story and the ending left me a little depressed.
Rating: ****

Arlene Almas: "Little Bee" is the name a young Nigerian refugee, held in a British detention center for two years, gave herself when she was forced to leave her childhood behind in her homeland. There is horror in her past, but with a great deal of determination she has learned to speak the "Queen's English" and hopes to be released from the detention center as a legally documented resident so that she can go to London and find the English couple whom she met on a fateful day at a beach in Nigeria. This very well-written story, based on real-world situations, will break your heart, but you will gain knowledge and deep understanding by reading it.
Rating: *****

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