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Little Bee: A Novel

Little Bee: A Novel

Escrito por Chris Cleave

Narrado por Anne Flosnik


Little Bee: A Novel

Escrito por Chris Cleave

Narrado por Anne Flosnik

valoraciones:
3.5/5 (140 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Publicado:
May 3, 2016
ISBN:
9781508223948
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

Little Bee, the young female refugee from the Nigerian delta, must master the Queen's English and the Queen's England if she is to escape her past and make a life in the UK after two years in a refugee detention center. The novel opens on the day Little Bee is released from the center with no identification papers and only the address of an English couple, Andrew and Sarah, whom she once met on a Nigerian beach. All three of their lives were horribly changed by that meeting on the beach. When Little Bee unexpectedly appears at Sarah's doorstep, it is the day of Andrew's funeral.

Told in turns in the first person by Little Bee and Sarah, the novel follows these two women as they struggle to save each other and themselves. Little Bee tries to make a life for herself in a totally alien land, while Sarah must come to terms with her choices in London including an extramarital affair and her seemingly frivolous career path. United by their past and by love for Sarah's young son Charlie, Little Bee and Sarah become indispensable to each other. But their bond will face the ultimate test when the system catches up with Little Bee, and each woman must make a devastating decision.
Publicado:
May 3, 2016
ISBN:
9781508223948
Formato:
Audiolibro

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También disponible como libroLibro


Sobre el autor

Chris Cleave is the author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Gold, Incendiary, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Little Bee. He lives with his wife and three children in London, England. Visit him at ChrisCleave.com or on Twitter @ChrisCleave.

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3.7
140 valoraciones / 338 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    I clearly have a different definition of "human triumph" than whomever wrote the review that's quoted on the book cover.
  • (3/5)
    Blurb............

    Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Costa Novel of the Year, this international bestseller has become a reading group classic.

    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:

    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 your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

    The book sets out to be deliberately opaque and mysterious...........ooh read this, don't tell anyone what happens it's so special, tell others about it but don't spoil it for them, etc etc etc.

    A fantastic, thought-provoking read that stays with you for weeks and months afterwards, invading your thoughts at unexpected moments?

    Or an extremely clever marketing ploy?

    Being a grumpy, miserable cynic and having read the book - I choose marketing ploy.

    Well then what to write...........A meets B and C, who are married to each other, at location X. D who is A's sister is present at the meeting, which is soon joined by E and another group we'll call the F's. A disagreement occurs. Fast forward a while, A contacts C, now in location Y. This upsets C greatly, and has a calamitous effect on him, B and her close friend G and her child H. The rest of the book introduces other minor characters that I shall refer to as I, J, K and L. (I might have missed out an M and a N, but none of these are major players, so don't worry too much.) The climax of the book involves A, B and H, along with some O's at location X.

    Had the blurb presented the book in a more traditional fashion, I'm no marketing guru, but I would guess a fraction of the copies actually sold would have been. One of the characters in the book, G actually espouses the same opinion. The topic under debate, doesn't typically interest people, until such time as the right wing tabloids want to beat the drum and whip up some populist fury.
    I would probably have passed it over.

    That said, it was enjoyable enough, but perhaps I needed to be wearing my magician's cloak to feel the magic.Well, I wasn't.

    3 from 5, must dash or I'll be late for Quidditch practise.

    I do have another Cleave book on my shelf, Incendiary, as yet unread. I'm unsure what ploy enticed me to buy the book, but I'll need to check the blurb on the back to refresh my memory. I'm also unsure if my purchase of Incendiary predates my purchase of The Other Hand, not that it matters too much.

    Seduced by the marketing fiends, I bought this new a few years ago.
  • (3/5)
    Two and a half stars, really, but rounding up because the audiobook narrator did a wonderful job.

    I really liked large chunks of this book, and most of this was cultural observations from the titular character. But the rest felt so blandly contrived that I had to focus to not swerve off the road. (ESPECIALLY near the end.)

    The "don't tell anyone the plot" gimmick printed on the dust jacket is hilarious, too; the plot feels like a reverse engineered take on the Kite Runner, with a few alterations in able to get emotional reactions and pad length. This last part is especially annoying, since I felt like the story should've naturally run its course chapters before the book ends. But wait, here's *another* twist to get the reader to say "wow!" More like, "really?"

    But still, the good parts are quite good, and for those alone I think this was worth plodding through.
  • (2/5)
    Everyone Brave is Forgiven is one of my favorite novels, but this one just isnt for me.
  • (4/5)
    It's 3.5 stars for me.

    I like Chris Cleave's voice and he has clearly done his research on refugee situations.
    I believe the story shows more than anything the torment and strangeness of displacement in both place, culture and everyday physical barriers. If you set aside the characters that seem to be more of an attempt to build something around what the author wishes to say, it's a good insight into what really happens out there. And I think Chris Cleave being a journalist shows his insight into the field.
    This is what the story is about. For me.
    Then again I am also a journalist and a photographer as well so I read putting together dots of facts with fiction. This is also how I write in some ways.

    The characters are somewhat thin I find, almost made up and detracts from the story. I can't tell why CC has chosen this way to depict them however it almost feels deliberate and if so, well perhaps to emphasize the absurdity of the life a refugee or a migrant lives, never really being fully accepted, no matter how well they do, how hard they try, how much they assimilate. And I say that having been a migrant three times over in my own life.

    Chris Cleave is not a migrant but his heart is with the people that leave their home. He has written it in the first person because he wants the reader to hear their story. This is the most important part of this story for me.
  • (4/5)
    What the novel lacked in credibility it made up for in interest and teaching. I thought it a very worthwhile way to present the issues and tragedies faced by many immigrants.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best stories I have read in along time.
  • (4/5)
    This was a powerful story. The characters were perfectly flawed allowing me to connect with them. The only issue I had with this novel was the ending; I was hoping for more. Overall one of the most touching novels I've read in a while.
  • (4/5)
    The characters in the story decide when to put themselves first and when to offer charity. Is one human life ever more valuable than another? What if one of the lives in question is your own? Can we believe that even in the face of unspeakable inhumanity, humanity
    can prevail?


    "Wouldn't that be funny, if the oil rebels were playing U2 in their jungle camps, and the government soldiers were playing U2 in their trucks. I think everyone was killing everyone else and listening to the same music... That is a good trick about this world, Sarah. No one likes each other, but everyone likes U2."
  • (5/5)
    Wow. I must own this book, I urge all to read it - you will reconsider how you look at your life....
  • (5/5)
    Powerful, gut wrenching and terribly, terribly sad. An emotionally charged novel of ethical choices. Little Bee narrates her African cultural collision with a British modern world. Sarah narrates her struggle and her husband' a struggle with their consciences to help Little Bee in a confrontation on a Nigerian beach DNS later in Britain when Little Bee shows up as a refugee. This novel pulls no punches. It holds nothing back and I will not forget it easily.
  • (4/5)
    READ THIS BOOK!
  • (1/5)
    I've heard such good things about this book, so I expected to like it a lot more. Now I'm feeling very disappointed, because no matter how I think about it, I just don't like this book at all. It does point out some of the harsh realities of the UK's immigration system - though anyone who stays reasonably informed of the news would already know it - but the rest just fell flat for me.

    I gather that it's supposed to look deeply at the feelings of the two main characters, Little Bee and Sarah, but that's not how it came across to me. Sarah's sense of entitlement - for example, her demand to know everything about Little Bee's life, whether or not Little Bee wants to share with her - runs through the entire book and makes her a very unlikeable character. Little Bee had the potential to be a great character, but her portrayal seemed very shallow.

    (Also, the audiobook narrator annoys me. She speaks so excruciatingly slowly that I lost interest on several occasions. Several times, I set my audiobook program to play the audio at 2x normal speed, and it was still slow. That doesn't add to the enjoyment of the book.)
  • (5/5)
    Unforgettable
  • (4/5)
    An event on a Nigerian beach has inextricably linked Little Bee with Sarah and Andrew O'Rourke, an English couple. The story opens with the asylum seeker, Little Bee, being mistakenly released without papers after being incarcerated in an English detention centre for two years. She sets out in search of the couple she met on the beach. Alternating between Little Bee's account and Sarah's the whole story unfolds. While written with compassion, Cleave has injected it with a mildly melodramatic quality that reveals his fervour. However, without judgement of either side, he illustrates powerfully what a refugee might be running from, what they suffer in the attempt, and the potential consequences. Cleave's portrayal of Little Bee is excellent. She retains her Nigerian way of thinking (always considering how she would explain a particular scene to her friends at home) while simultaneously trying to adapt to English life. She is charming and astute beyond her sixteen years. Cleave's first-hand knowledge of the subject matter was earned during his time studying at Oxford when he worked in a detention centre."Life is precious, whatever its country of origin."
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the best books I've read in quite a while. We first meet Little Bee in a refugee detention center in England. The excellent writing lets us inside her constant struggle of fear, wishing to die yet determined to live. Her life has crossed paths with an English couple, influential, affluent journalists. They have their own problems. The juxtaposition of the problems of an African immigrant with those of an upper middle class family is well crafted. Cleave doesn't beat you over the head with the politics but illuminates it by telling the story of individuals whose lives are destroyed by the violence in Africa and the guilt of the exploiters.
  • (4/5)
    Nigerian refugee fleeing from horror
  • (1/5)
    First off, the hype on the back of this book is totally misleading. That pretty much knocked off a whole star for me here. You can't praise your own book to that extent and then have a slightly above mediocre book.
    That aside, I quite enjoyed this book. Mind you, it was certainly not an easy read but I'm glad I read it.
  • (5/5)
    the ending brought tears to my eyes!
  • (4/5)
    Little Bee is a Nigerian refugee. We meet her, in a narrative related in her own, unique voice, as she is leaving the British detention center where she's spent the last two years. Little Bee is sixteen years old and has seen and endured far more than any person should in an entire life, let alone in sixteen short years. Not only has she lost her family to rape and violence, she watched it happen as the small village she'd grown up in was ravaged by oil company goons. Little Bee has come to England seeking the only other people she knows in the world, a British couple she'd met on a Nigerian beach just as her world was being blown into pieces.Sarah is a recent widow, the mother of a four year old who won't take off his Batman costume, and the female half of the couple Little Bee met in Nigeria. Sarah is the editor of a glossy women's magazine, sophisticated and well-groomed. Needless to say, Sarah's problems are somewhat different from Little Bee's.In fact, Little Bee and Sarah are as different as can be. Little Bee is pragmatic, too aware of the out and out evil the world can deliver to the innocent to have any more illusions. Sarah is idealistic, wanting to make the world a better place but so entrenched in her suburban comfort that she doesn't know how to do it. When the two women come together again they complement each other.Little Bee is a beautiful novel. It is engaging, uplifting, and deeply, deeply sad. Each of the women tells her story in her own voice, in alternating chapters; Chris Cleave conveys these voices flawlessly, almost as though he's transcribing their stories rather than creating them.
  • (4/5)
    I feel I will be haunted by this tale and it's characters. It feels like an artsy-indie film that stops 3/4 of the way through the narrative, cause, hey that's real man. Not a single knot was tied. Every thread of thought it provoked was left like the thick tassel on a French drapery. I guess now I can choose my own ending.
  • (4/5)
    I think this book is a very powerful story about current issues that are complicated and hard. It comes with a spoiler warning, which means it is difficult to say much more about the plot. I didn't find anything unbelievable or unrealistic, and it will stay with me, despite it being a male author writing about women (who are not all the same). The male characters are not particularly sympathetic.
  • (4/5)
    Worth a read. This is a book with a powerful message, in spite of the valid criticisms of other reviewers here.I agree that the conversation was clunky at times and parts of the storyline were a bit unbelievable (especially the end), but I did enjoy the book as a whole and the idea behind it was excellent.Having read the evasive bumf on the back cover, I'm not sure how much of the story I'm allowed to relate. I actually thought that the embargo on the content of the book was a bit unnecessary and even off-putting. It was a much more powerful tool in Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.So if you don't want to know about the book - stop reading now.**Spoilers**The central character was Little Bee, a refugee from Nigeria. She has seen things back home that people want to keep hidden, if she returns she will be killed. The only person she knows in UK is Sarah, a magazine journalist with problems of her own. She goes to stay with Sarah and is wonderful with Sarah's son Charlie, alias Batman. Little Bee is brilliantly portrayed, Sarah slightly less so, but I wasn't endeared to her husband, Andrew or her boyfriend. I also had a problem with the language soken by 4 yr old Charlie, I child-mind a two-year-old who has a better understanding of grammar.I was sorry the three characters Little Bee left the assylum with were not used more, especially Yvette.Well worth a read, with subject matter that needs to be raised and discussed.Recommended, with reservations.Please note the American version of this book sells under the title of Little Bee - don't make the mistake of buying the same book twice :)Your Tags: immigrant, asylums
  • (5/5)
    I happened across this book on the audio shelf in the library, read by Anne Flosnik in an edition by Tantor, and I'm incredibly glad of every element of that happenstance. It's a powerful book, and its power was enhanced by Flosnik's expert reading. All of her accents, and the fluidity with which she switched from one to another, were utterly believable and made the book heartbreakingly real to me. I do not agree with criticism of the ending. Any other would have broken down the realism and the authenticity of the story. I was listening to this book (somewhat dangerously, in the car) at the same time I was reading "Sarah's Key," which intertwines a Holocaust story with a journalist's romance 60 years later. Today, I made a run to my local library to pick up hard copy of "Little Bee" to share in the book-club discussion of "Sarah's Key" in a couple of days. I don't think the women of my club will be willing to read Bee, but I need to offer them a point of comparison with a more authentic, more powerful telling of how fortunate we in England, France, and the US in 2009 are to only read about real terror. Little Bee became a real person and a real force in my life, and I will never forget her.
  • (2/5)
    Disappointed. This is the classic example of a good idea spoiled with a bad presentation. I wanted to like this novel, but there were just too many wasted pages in it to keep me interested in the story.Little Bee has two narrators, the Nigerian refugee whose namesake appears in the book's title, and her English counterpart, Sarah. Clever idea to mesh two sides of the story into one book, but in the end Little Bee's narrative came off as more genuine, believable and coherent than Sarah's. The chapters featuring Sarah's narration suffered from a bevy of indifferent side stories, badly drawn dialogue and confusing time warps. Reading through the Sarah-narrated chapters was like sitting through an awful commercial break in the middle of an intense television episode.I didn't care for the Sarah-Lawrence dialogue. Too much information and way too out of context. I wasn't impressed with the rather abrupt departure Little Bee made from her mismatched gang of illegal immigrants who were surreptitiously released from the detention center and whose freedom lasted only one evening - abruptly. And honestly, I didn't care for Batman (Charlie, Sarah's spoiled son)I did care about Little Bee's personal touches - the way she would speak directly to the reader explaining how things worked in her home country of Nigeria. I liked her voice and her language nuances during her narrative. Why the author, Cleave, didn't play up those strenghts is beyond me. He practically ruined his own book with unnecessary pages. From the first chapter, I expected to unfold a mystery of what happened to this young girl at the beach in Nigeria and how it tied her to an Englishwoman so many miles and an entire culture away. But rather than becoming engrossed in the mystery and the siruggles to survive and cope through such a tragedy, I encountered crap that cheapened the experience and deadened my interest.Very disappointed with this book.
  • (4/5)
    A traumatized 14-year-old African girl arrives in England with her baggage of dread and hope only to spend two long years in a depressing detention center. "When I say that I am a refugee, you must understand that there is no refuge" (Pg. 46). But Little Bee is a survivor and has the emotional scars to prove it. She reaches out to the only Englishperson she knows -- a woman she shared a harrowing experience with on a beach in Nigeria -- and their lives are changed forever.This is a book about facing your fears and not letting go of those you love. It was well written; however, I believe the publishers did the author a disservice when they manipulated readers with the marketing gimmick of "keeping the secret." That cheap ploy almost kept me from reading a truly memorable book. Until the ending, that is, which I would like to forget. Caution...SPOILERS ahead...I was appalled when Sarah took her fragile 4-year-old son Charlie to a place that was clearly dangerous. And this was shortly after declaring that he was her entire world after almost losing him. Sheesh! I also thought it was a bit much that Charlie was used once again as a device to draw unwanted attention by the "baddies" to Little Bee. No wonder he felt safer in his Batman costume!Bottom line: This is a good book that could have been great.
  • (5/5)
    Stunning book on the moral dilemmas posed for all of us as we decide what makes us caring people. How much can we help those who are less fortunate than ourselves? Do we want to help? A business woman takes a vacation to Nigeria and finds herself and her husband in the midst of the oil wars. A chance meeting with 2 young girls and the decisions made on a fateful day at the beach change their lives forever.
  • (5/5)
    The jacket notes on this book avoid the usual routine of giving a taster of the plot because, in a clever marketing move, they proclaim "it is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it". They also urge the reader to tell friends about the book, but not to give away what happens. It isn't giving anything away to say that I believe this book is truly deserving of such hype. I'm not going to stop there though so, in the phrase familiar to television audiences in the UK "if you don't want to know the result, look away now".Still looking?As it happens I probably will not reveal too much, suffice it to say that Cleave brilliantly tells the story of a young Nigerian girl who comes to England as a refugee, and how her life becomes intertwined with the family of a couple she met in a moment of crisis back home on an African beach. He does this with great humanity, and with humour. As someone who regularly supports a refugee charity, I am already in the camp of those who look more sympathetically than many upon the plight of those who seek refuge in the UK. I would like to think that encountering this powerful book might lead someone from the other side of the argument to reassess his or her stance on the issue. It seems to me that getting inside the mind of Little Bee, the fictional refugee at the heart of this story, is likely to do more for the cause of displaced people than any amount of worthy but dull journalistic analysis by the less populist sections of the press.One feature I particularly liked is the way in which contrasts are repeatedly drawn between Little Bee's life in Nigeria and what she observes about life in England. For example:"You live in a world of machines and you dream of things with beating hearts. We dream of machines, because we see where beating hearts have left us."Regardless of where we might stand on the issue of asylum, the book also makes us think about the extent to which all of us may be prone to compromise others for the sake of our own safety or security.
  • (5/5)
    This was a very moving book, at times I was close to tears, and at others very happy and amused. For those readers looking for a "happy" ending, this is not the book for you, but if you want an ending that uplifts your spirit and gives you faith in the human capaciyty for love and courage, then you will be satisfied. This definitely took me out of my comfort zone for reading but it was worth it. But if a book can do that and still get my recommendation, then it has succeeded with me.
  • (4/5)
    The main premise that brings together the two cultures that form the backdrop to this novel--poor rural Nigeria and rich urban London--is a clever set up that reverberates throughout the rest of the novel. However, I found the reverberations more believable at the beginning of the novel than the end. Still, great job of showing how globalization can now link people from incredibly disparate cultures and backgrounds and how tragic it can be when these linkages take on lives of their own.