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Little Bee
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About the Author

Chris Cleave is the author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Gold, Incendiary, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Little Bee. He lives with his wife and three children in London, England. Visit him at ChrisCleave.com or on Twitter @ChrisCleave.

Reviews

Cleave (www.chriscleave.com), whose debut novel, Incendiary (2006), won the Somerset Maugham Award, here tells the story of Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, and Sarah, the British widow who fatefully takes her in. In a poignant performance, Audie Award nominee Anne Flosnik (At Last Comes Love) portrays the carefully enunciated Queen's English Little Bee learns from watching TV and from listening to Sarah's upper-crust diction and her two-year-old son's kidspeak. A grueling tale burnished with humor and love and comparable to Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, this title will give book club members plenty to mull over. [The S. & S. hc also received a starred review, LJ 1/09.-Ed.]-Judith Robinson, Dept. of Lib. & Information Studies, Univ. at Buffalo Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

...Little Bee is a loud shout of talent. -- Chicago Sun-Times
...[an] immensely readable and moving second novel... The character and voice of Little Bee reveal Cleave at his finest... An affecting story of human triumph. -- New York Times Book Review
Little Bee will blow you away....In restrained, diamond-hard prose, Cleave alternates between these two characters' points of view as he pulls the threads of their dark -- but often funny -- story tight. What unfolds between them...is both surprising and inevitable, thoroughly satisfying if also heart-rending. -- Washington Post
Book clubs in search of the next Kite Runner need look no further than this astonishing, flawless novel... Cleave (Incendiary) effortlessly moves between alternating viewpoints with lucid, poignant prose and the occasional lighter note. A tension-filled dramatic ending and plenty of moral dilemmas add up to a satisfying, emotional read. -- Library Journal
Cleave has a Zola-esque ability to write big and deeply....[he] makes the reader think about political issues and care about his characters. -- USA Today
Every now and then, you come across a character in a book whose personality is so salient and whose story carries such devastating emotional force it's as if she becomes a fixed part of your consciousness. So it is with the charmingly named title character in Chris Cleave's brilliant and unforgettable Little Bee... -- The Oregonian
Stunning. -- People (Four Stars and a People Pick)
The voice that speaks from the first page of Chris Cleave's Little Bee is one you might never have heard -- the voice of a smart, wary, heartsick immigrant scarred by the terrors of her past....Read this urgent and wryly funny novel for its insights into simple humanity, the force that can disarm fear. -- O Magazine
Utterly enthralling page-turner...Novelist Cleave does a brilliant job of making both characters not only believable but memorable....These compelling voices grip the reader's heart and do not let go even after the book's hyper-tense final page. Little Bee is a harrowing and heartening marvel of a novel. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Vividly memorable and provocative...heartwarming and heartbreaking...Cleave paces the story beautifully, lacing it with wit, compassion, and, even at the darkest moments, a searing ray of hope. -- Boston Globe

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