The lives of a sixteen-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British woman collide in this page-turning #1 New York Times bestseller and book club favorite from Chris Cleave.
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.
A violent incident on a Nigerian beach has tragic echoes in posh London in Cleave's beautifully staged if haphazardly plotted debut novel. British couple Andrew O'Rourke and his wife, Sarah, are on vacation when they come across two sisters, Little Bee and Nkiruka, on the run from the killers who have massacred everyone else in their village in the pay, it turns out, of an oil company seeking the land. Soon the killers arrive and propose a not-quite-credible deal: they will trade the girls if Andrew and Sarah each cut off a finger. Andrew can't do it, but Sarah does, and the killers drag the girls away. So two years later, when Little Bee shows up at Sarah's house on the day of the funeral for Andrew, who has killed himself, it seems almost miraculous. Later, however, it's revealed that Little Bee has been hiding around the O'Rourke place, and that Andrew seeing her set off his suicide. Sarah nevertheless determines to help Little Bee get refugee status. Cleave has a sharp cinematic eye, but the plot is undermined by weak motivations and coincidences.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A good read
This was definitely an interesting reading experience. First few chapters were better than the later chapters, in terms of smoothness of the story and how it captured my attention. I found this book really haunting and sad. Not very funny, almost depressing. However, it definitely made me think. About the ending, I also was not 100% satisfied with how it ended, but, when I went back to read the last chapter again, it kind of made sense to me, why the author wanted to end it that way. It really is about how the characters transform (or not) throughout the story, not how it ends. I definitely recommend this book.
Was mad about all the hype. Don't waste your time & money. I kept turning the page thinking it was going to get better... It didn't.
It was okay
I liked this book fine, just didn't fall in love with it. Can't really explain why I didn't love it, just felt a little incomplete. Not terrible by any means, I guess I just expected more from the "hook" of the review that promised such a wondrous, surprising read and I feel that it fell just a little short.