Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Thoughts - Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
published 2010
266 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

(We all know the synopsis from the publisher is bad. Here's mine - two women meet randomly on a beach. Bad stuff happens, more bad stuff happens, they find each other again and try to help each other heal.)

My thoughts -

To say that the book blurb on this novel is misleading would probably be an understatement. I'm not entirely sure what the publishers were thinking, but "magic" this book is not. Intriguing? Certainly. Thought-provoking? Definitely. Magic? No.

While the writing was lovely - and it was. There were places I re-read simply for the beauty of the language - the story itself was only average. I never quite believed in Sarah's voice - I'm not sure if it was an issue of a male writer not fully inhabiting his female character, or just that Sarah herself didn't buy her own BS - and since half of the novel was written from her perspective, it made those sections difficult.

I found the time-shifting of the narrative a bit confusing at times, not really understanding where each character was in relation to the other. Once we all caught up on the secret "event", it became easier, but there were still places throughout the novel where I felt like I had missed something, somewhere. I felt like the author had some interesting ideas about the different ways people can save each other, but the story ended so abruptly that it didn't seem like he had a chance to flesh these out.

Overall, it was just okay for me. Certain parts were lovely, but in other places I felt like I was really forcing myself to keep slogging on, and that's never a good sign.

Finished - 9/13/14
MPAA rating- R for violence, language, adult situations
My rating - 3/5


bermudaonion said...

I think I liked this a little more than you did but I didn't love it either.

Aarti said...

I considered this one for audiobook, but your comment about the time-shifts in narrative have turned me away from that path. I get way too confused when that happens! I think I am going to give this book a miss - I admit what really got to me was the cover ;-) It is so eye-catching!

Literary Feline said...

I really liked this book. I read it with a book group and perhaps that helped some? I'm not sure. I just remember not especially liking Lawrence of all the characters. I liked Sarah though, even though I didn't always agree with her choices.