Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yes, I’m still working on the backlog of reviews and I’m still working on those questions people asked way back when. Today, I’m going to cross Little Bee off the list.
Publisher Comments: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.
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.
This is a powerful book, but they’re right…it would be a shame to give away the story. I would add that it is set in both London and Nigeria. And that Little Bee is the name of the main character and narrator. And I will give you two brief passages from the book:
“Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.” p. 1
”In your country, if you are not scared enough already, you can go to watch a horror film…Horror in your country is something that you take a dose of to remind yourself that you are not suffering from it.” p. 45
Heather J. asked me three questions: “Did you identify with Andrew or Sarah or neither? What did you think of Little Bee's decision to "think of scars as signs of life"? Did you feel that the book was ultimately depressing or hopeful?” And Eva asked, “Do you think I’d like Little Bee?”
I didn’t really identify with either Andrew or Sarah…I thought they were both selfish. I didn’t care for Sarah’s actions in England, before the trip to Nigeria, and I didn’t like Andrew’s responses to the situation in Nigeria. Sarah does has some redeeming qualities at the end, though. However, without all of their prior decisions, there wouldn’t have been much of a book, so I guess I can’t complain too much.
I did, however, love Little Bee’s resiliency, as evidenced by her statement that scars are signs of life. Rather than focus on the bad, she moves on. And as for Heather’s last question, I’m not sure. I think the actions that the characters take at the end are hopeful, and by that I mean there willingness to take a stand.
Now for Eva and her whopper of a question. I’m always hesitant to say that people will like a book, because there are so many different factors…the story, the writing, the setting, the characters, the tone, the ending. But yes, I do think Eva would like this one, if only because it subtly deals with some big issues, and it alternates between London and Nigeria. Plus, it’s relatively short, so if I’m wrong, it’s not like I just recommended a 500 plus page chunkster. Not that that would stop Eva. :-)