After a great recommendation from a close friend, I picked up Little Bee from my local library. I’ve never been one to reach for historical fiction when in search of reading material, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this book and had an easy time putting it down.
Summary: By sneaking aboard a British ship, a girl by the name of Little Bee attempts to escape her dangerous life in Nigeria during the Oil Wars. After the intense adrenaline rush from getting out of her situation, she begins to contemplate what exactly she plans to do upon reaching Britain. Thankfully, she realizes that she still has the contact information of a man and woman she met on the beach back home that happen to live there. Though upon arriving her plan is intercepted by a two-year stay in an immigration detention center. As soon as she can, she escapes to join her new parents Sarah and Andrew. Of course, Sarah and Andrew have lives of their own that will become all the more complicated upon the arrival of Little Bee. The real story starts when they reunite.
Rating: 4 Stars.
Why?: It’s been a while since I’ve read such an interesting historical fiction novel. This does not mean that I haven’t enjoyed other ones that I’ve read recently, it means that I haven’t been surprised by one. This book definitely kept me flipping pages until the end, eager to finally gain the whole story after bits and pieces were slowly revealed. Told in two uncommon voices, a young optimistic refugee girl, and an unsatisfied, work-obsessed mother, Chris Cleave brings a unique twist to an event that many people weren’t even aware was going on. Once the main story was revealed, it felt like it deserved the dramatic buildup it had, and that’s not something I say lightly. Cleave put purpose behind every one of his words, and really painted an accurate picture of their lives and the comparisons and contrasts between our normal life and how other people live in developing or war-torn countries.
This book opened my eyes to an event that I had quickly dismissed before. Therefore, it has been inspiring me to do more to keep up with what’s happening in other parts of the world, even if they aren’t trending on twitter. It’s so sad that many of us, including myself, are completely blinded by how fortunate we are, and have barely given any attention to the people who need it most. The people who simply need to survive day by day instead of using that time to better themselves and better their lives. This book was also part of what inspired me to post one of my recent posts, “We Forget How Fortunate We Are,” which talks about that exact topic and how I’m trying to do more to give back because of how fortunate I am.
How I Felt Reading This Book:
Little Bee is officially my second favorite historical fiction book, after The Book Thief, and I’m hoping to broaden my horizons even more. If anyone has historical fiction recommendations let me know! I’m always looking for new things to add to my TBR list!