I was amazed at how well Cleave was able to capture the voices of two women of such different ages and background in “Little Bee.” The plot unfolds with every chapter into a harrowing story that shows how courageous a person can be. The lives of Little Bee, a 16 year old Nigerian girl who has lost her family and home to guerilla fighting, and British journalist Sarah, collide one day on a beach in Nigeria. An event takes place on the beach that will bind the women together and thrust terrorizing events into their lives. Two years after the event, the women meet again, and begin a journey to heal the wounds created during the horrific day on the beach.
I found myself stunned not only the story, but by how each woman’s life had been so impacted by the events on the beach. As Sarah and Little Bee help each other adjust to the world around them, they learn about themselves and identify what truly matters in life. There wasn’t a moment when the book lagged, rather, the entire story kept building upon itself to create an exciting tale. The conversations between the characters were believable, and the perceptions of each character were unique. I especially liked reading Little Bee’s thoughts, because they were creative and humorous.
I really enjoyed this book, which whisked the reader from the shores of Nigeria to the civility of London in a smooth and effortless manner. I would recommend the book to those looking for a book about life’s meaning with an adventurous flair. It was particularly intellectual and perceptive, which I found refreshing. The reviews online were so mixed about this book, it almost deterred me from picking it up. After reading it, I really can’t understand who wouldn’t like it!