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Little Bee

By Chris Cleave


Why I Chose This Book

Book club book! But this time it’s one that we didn’t read for book club (we read Water for Elephants instead, which I reviewed already). It was my first choice, however, and so I put my name on the reserve list at the library for it. It was a long list, so it was just as well that I didn’t have a deadline, because it’s not a book I retrospectively would have been especially happy to own. If I have to own books, I want them big and fat and epic and take me at least a week to reread. This one does not fit those requirements.

Why I Chose Right Now to Review This Book

Book club is tonight, which means that we’re going to discuss some other title and then move our brains onto the next one, and I can already feel my thoughts about this one slipping away. It gets worse when they go back to the library before I write about them, too. Plus the kids are playing Legos and watching Dora and because book club is tonight thinking about dinner is not my problem, and I can take a shower later. Today, I write!

Nutshell Review of the Book

I liked it fine. How’s that? The three main characters (Sarah, Little Bee, Lawrence) were sympathetic enough, and the two secondary characters (Andrew and Charlie) did their job of being people triggering events that gave the main characters something to do. The locations were vivid in a way I don’t usually notice in books, and I won’t tell you what amazing secret the blurb on the cover begs readers not to spoil for others, but it was a dumb thing to say. It’s not a dumb secret, but it’s hardly some big reveal that upends your understanding of the whole book to that point. Kaiser Sose it ain’t. Actually, I’m not even sure what event in the book it’s supposed to refer to. Regardless, it’s a pretty good guarantee that readers will finish the book.

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