The Washington Post says, “Little Bee, by Guardian columnist Chris Cleave, hinges on a single horrific encounter. On a beach in Nigeria, the lives of Little Bee, a teenager from a small village, and Sarah O'Rourke, editor of a posh British women's magazine, are brought into brutal conjunction. Little Bee and her older sister have the misfortune to live on valuable Nigerian oil deposits, for which their family pays a deadly price. Sarah and her husband, heedless tourists out for a walk in the sand, are confronted in an instant with a choice: Save the girls at great personal cost or ignore them.” And “Nearly four years ago Cleave's first novel, Incendiary, about an al-Qaeda bomb attack at a London soccer match, was published in Britain on the very day that suicide bombers killed 52 people in London's transit system. This gruesome coincidence called into question whether Cleave's talent was responsible for the attention the novel received. Little Bee leaves little doubt that Cleave deserves the praise. He has carved two indelible characters whose choices in even the most straitened circumstances permit them dignity -- if they are willing to sacrifice for it. Little Bee is the best kind of political novel: You're almost entirely unaware of its politics because the book doesn't deal in abstractions but in human beings.”s
Chris Cleave, the author of Little Bee, is doing daily video posts about his book tour. You can see them here. Just watching (listening?) for the accent alone is fun!