25 Mar 2010

Book Review - Little Bee

Title: Little Bee (also known as The Other Hand in some countries)
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-66530-8
266 pgs

I picked up this book off one of my group's Potluck Book thread, which worked out well since I had it on my TBR list anyway.

So, there is no typical blurb on this book to tell you what it is about.  Instead there is this:

We don't want to tell you too much about this book.  It is a truely 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.

So I basically went into this book blind, with nothing except my group pals assurances that they loved it and I'd probably love it too.  I liked it.  I don't, however, feel the urge to tell everyone about it and I'd probably not really recommend it to anyone else, except maybe my mom.

The author chose to have each woman narrate alternating chapters, so there are two voices/views to get used to.  One, Little Bee herself, is easy to fall into.  She's got such an interesting world view, wit and charm that it is like talking to an old friend when she tells her side of things.  Sarah, the other woman, just feels stilted.  I really wasn't fond of her 'voice' at all and that didn't help me to connect to her or feel sorry for her or anything.

Other than than, the narrative does move fairly smoothly through the two voices (obviously since I managed to finish it in about a day) and the tale was engaging enough to keep me going to the end.  I just... I dunno what it is, I suppose, but it just didn't seem to linger with me long after I finished it *shrugs*.

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