07 January, 2012

The Other Hand

Title: The Other Hand (also published as Little Bee)
Author: Chris Cleave
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: Worlds collide when Little Bee, a Nigerian girl orphaned by violence, meets Sarah, a dissatisfied British professional away on holiday. The story is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterwards that is most important. A mixture of tragedy and comedy, a taste of what could happen to immigrants to the UK, realistically narrated by the two main characters: Little Bee, an immigrant to UK from Nigeria; and Sarah, a British magazine editor who had a previous connection with Little Bee.
What I thought: This is our first book group read for 2012 and wow, what a way to start the year! First off, it is simply beautifully written. The flow, the language all melds seamlessly to create a fantastic reading experience. Each chapter alternates between Little Bee and Sarah. In the beginning this produces a wonderful image of two stories moving closer together until you know they will merge and from that point they move forward together, showing different view points of the same events.

The characters of Little Bee and Sarah were lovely too. Little Bee's way of explaining or describing things and events appear simplistic, but offer such great depth. Sarah's chapters showed her feelings of confusion and uncertainty as her world is turned upside down. I believe Little Bee is a book that needs to be read by everyone, if for no other reason than to show that things are not always what we think.

Challenges: Ebook Challenge