|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 266
Fiction Genre: Historical, Book Club, African Lit.
Dates Read: October 31-November 2, 2015
Reading Challenge: Mega Reading Challenge
Topic: #100: A classic from a culture different than your own.
Little Bee is a 16 year old Nigerian refugee who has spent the past two years living in a detainee facility hoping that one day she will be granted asylum. One magical morning, Little Bee's wish is granted and she is released into rural London, with only her few belongings and a voucher for a taxi. Little Bee only knows the names of two people, Andrew and Sarah, whom she briefly met on a beach in Nigeria, and has shared a life long secret with. Now is the time to seek them out.
This book started off so great. There was so much mystery around the shared connection between Little Bee, Sarah, and Andrew, as well as Andrews sudden departure. This mystery or excitement did not last long. Once the story of the big mystery was revealed in the first 25% of the book, it all went down hill from there. I found Sarah to be whiny and unlikable, while Andrew was a self-loathing, selfish jerk, and Little Bee was just so fake. I had troubles finding any sincerity in the character or what she was saying. Maybe it is better to say that she was an underdeveloped character who had more potential than she was given. I held on to nearly the end believing that there would be some redeeming quality in this book, but I was let down in the long run.
Cleave is a great writer and can weave a very descriptive story. The areas he is lacking in the most is character development, and keeping the story from falling into a pit of dullness. Given everything that is going on right now with the Syrian refuges this book is very relevant and in some aspects takes a good look at what an experience might be like for a foreigner who can't go home and who is desperately seeking asylum. How accurate of a portrayal this is, I cannot say, but it did give me a lot to think about and to realize I have some research to do.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 6
Pace - 3
Plot Development - 3
Characters - 2
Enjoyability - 4
Insightfulness - 4
Ease of Reading - 5
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Rating - 2 out of 5 stars