Book Club Pick: Little Bee, Chris Cleave

Cover - Little Bee, by Chris Cleave

Cover - Little Bee, by Chris CleaveI have wanted to read this book since it first came out a year ago.  Of course, there are about a thousand books a year that I can place in the exact same category.  That is where book club comes in.  I am going to be  discussing this one with my Skype Book Club in March.  This book made the year end lists of several of my favorite bloggers in 2009.

I am all about not giving away too much on the jacket of a book, so I was amused to start my usual quick skim with hands half covering my eyes when I started reading this:


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.

Dot over at Scribbles had this to say about Little Bee, called The Other Hand in the UK and maybe other places  I don’t know about:

There are so many harrowing scenes in this book and on more than one occasion I was reading with tears streaming down my cheeks. But there is so much wit and humour too, it really does carry the story and gives a profound sense of hope.

Gavin at Page247 had some reservations but was apparently able to overcome them:

My one concern was the idea of a white male journalist giving voice to the two female characters, a young Nigerian girl and a white British magazine editor.  Cleave was brave to take this on and did a superb job.  I loved Little Bee, her strength, her heart and her intelligence.

Jackie at Farm Lane Books also reviewed this under the title, The Other Hand, and had really, really high praise:

It has been a long time since a book has moved me to tears, and even longer since one this length (375 pages) has been compelling enough to read in a single sitting, forcing me to stay up late into the night to finish it.

This book is one long emotional roller coaster. The horrific lows enhanced in intensity by the touching, laugh out loud highs.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,     2009   Jan 2, 2010

I’m looking forward to reading and discussing this one.

You may also like


    1. I was pretty indifferent to the book. I saw what the author was trying to do and thought it was smart, but the characters left me cold. Everyone else pretty much hated it. I think it wold have been much better as the quirky little play he intended it to be.

  1. Very promising! The cover is really what got me interested since cover art seems to be intriguing me more and more lately. It’s one of the most striking designs I’ve seen in a while, and it sounds like the plot is equally striking.
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..Scattershot Reading… =-.

  2. I’ve been wanting to read this one since it first came out too! And I’ve had a copy almost that long…I think I won it from somebody. I really need to make note of these things….

    anyway, how lucky you are to get to read it with a book group! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Wordless/Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

  3. I read this with MY book club last year and we had a great discussion about it! I hope yours is just as successful.

    (And I’ve heard the audio version is VERY well done, in case anyone is wondering …)
    .-= Heather J.´s last blog ..Two Awards =-.

  4. I’m on a trip this week and I packed 8 books, but do you think this stopped me from picking this up and debating whether to buy it every place I’ve seen books?!!! The only reason I haven’t is because I’m afraid my luggage is already at the limit, but I really, really want to read this. And weirdly, I know next to nothing about it, because no one will say what it’s about except that it’s wonderful! So I can’t wait to find out!
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Black History Month: Review of “Stonewall Jackson’s Black Sunday School” by Rickey E. Pittman; Illustrated by Lynn Hosegood =-.

  5. My book club is going to be making selections for the second half of the year next month and this one’s been recommended to me for them. Sounds like there will be lots to discuss.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..American Rust =-.

  6. I like the new format of your blog.

    I saw this at the library the other day but held off on it. I have to read about 4 other review books right now but I plan to go back to pick it up, if it's still there!

    Your comment form won't let me post as Ti though. Says my name is too short!!