Little Bee

Little Bee

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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We don't want to tell you too much about this book. 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. 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. A note from the author This terrible place was a removal centre for asylum seekers. We'd been hired to serve canteen meals to people being returned to the murderous regimes they'd fled. These were the people my country had decided it wouldn't help. It was hard to look them in the eye. Everyone ate with plastic spoons. It would have been brave to provide people in their predicament with anything sharper. After detention in heartbreaking conditions, most would be forcibly deported to countries where many would be tortured and killed. Mass deportation continues to this day. It doesn't take a genius to point out the parallel with the Holocaust. It doesn't take a novelist to realise this isn't terribly British. What was remarkable, though, was the stoicism and sheer grace of some of these doomed people. Years later, it was ahumbling experience and a fierce delight to research this novel. The refugees I heard from brought me to unexpected discoveries: the beauty of Nigerian English and Jamaican English, the startling graveyard humour of refugees, and the moral courage of the many citizens who help asylum seekers, in defiance of their authorities. It's an uplifting, thrilling, universal human story, and I just worked to keep it simple. One brave African girl; one brave Western woman. What if one just turned up on the other's doorstep one misty morning and asked, Can you help? And what if that help wasn't just a one-way street?
Publisher: [Toronto] : Bond Street Books, c2009, 2012
ISBN: 9780385665308
038566530X
9780385665315
9780385677783
Branch Call Number: FICTION CLE
Alternative Title: Other hand

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s
SCL_BookClubs
Nov 10, 2017

Looking forward to discussing this on Monday, December 4th, 2017. Come and join the discussion!

s
semplet
Aug 17, 2017

Little Bee, for me, was a great little novel, spoiled by the ending. The twists and turns that the author uses throughout the book make complete sense and keep the plot interesting but the main character adopts a completely unbelievable attitude at the end.

l
LexiLou2
Aug 14, 2017

Little Bee (Udo) carries this book. After the first few switches between her and Sarah, I only skimmed the chapters narrated by Sarah. Little Bee is very clever and has a great sense of humor. I don't agree with those who feel this book tries to mirror The Kite Runner.

I strongly recommend this book be read simply to widen your ability to empathize with others. Little Bee provides a very intelligent and thought-provoking character experiencing something many of could not even dream (or nightmare) of.

l
lesnord
Feb 27, 2017

This book tries to pack the emotional punch of Kite Runner and it is obvious. The horrific rape scene is way more graphic than it needed to be, contrived. Ruined the book for me.

LoganLib_Adults Aug 30, 2016

Come and see Chris during the Brisbane Writer's Festival; http://loganlibraries.org/2016/08/23/brisbane-writers-festival/

JCLLeslieN Feb 10, 2015

This book wants to be Kite Runner, but this one's violent scene is unnecessarily evil and detracts from the rest of the book. You have to know how much is enough to get your point across.

m
Mothercat
Jan 12, 2015

Ohhhh ... what a sad little story. Enjoyable, nonetheless, and yes, I would recommend it.

m
mythoughts
Jan 12, 2015

I don't throw out five stars easily, but this is one powerful book. Every sentence is beautiful, and the storyline is so compelling. Best book I've read in a long time.

d
dkfjasdlkfjalk
Jul 07, 2014

Some of the descriptive writing was too graphic. The book never said how she was picked up and placed in the detention center.

s
sari
Jun 11, 2014

Found that the book started out very strongly with many interesting characters but the last part fizzled out with an unsatisfying ending.
I would still recommend reading due to the educational aspects of the story and the wonderfully developed title character.

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EricaReynoldsNYC May 06, 2014

MOST DAYS I WISH I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming. Maybe I would visit with you for the weekend and then suddenly, because I am fickle like that, I would visit with the man from the corner shop instead—but you would not be sad because you would be eating a cinnamon bun, or drinking a cold Coca-Cola from the can, and you would never think of me again. We would be happy, like lovers who met on holiday and forgot each other’s names.

n
ndp21f
Apr 16, 2011

If the men come suddenly, I will be ready to kill myself. Do you feel sorry for me, for thinking always in this way? If the men come and they find you not ready, then it will be me who is feeling sorry for you.

n
ndp21f
Apr 16, 2011

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

n
ndp21f
Apr 16, 2011

How I would love to be a British pound. A pound is free to travel to safety, and we are free to watch it go. This is the human triumph. This is called, globalization. A girl like me gets stopped at immigration, but a pound can leap the turnstiles, and dodge the tackles of those big men with their uniform caps, and jump straight into a waiting airport taxi. Where to, sir? Western Civilization, my good man, and make it snappy.

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a
abaumler
Sep 06, 2017

A tenuous friendship blooms between two disparate strangers--one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London.

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