Little Bee: A Difficult Review to Write

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This is a hard book review to write because I don’t want to give too much away. The back of the book actually warns the reader not to reveal the plot once they are done. While honestly, that’s mostly for promotion of the book, it does make sense. The book is written as a sort of mystery. The characters know what happened that one day on the Nigerian beach, but the reader learns bits and pieces until all is finally revealed. Without ruining the mystery, I will try to pique your interest.

Little Bee is a Nigerian girl who meets with an English couple on a Nigerian beach. There, the couple is forced to make a decision that is the beginning of the undoing of their marriage. Through a series of events, Little Bee arrives at the couple’s house in England only to arrive on the day of the English man’s funeral. Author Chris Cleave writes from the perspectives of both Little Bee and the English woman and weaves their stories together. The prose is absolutely wonderful, but don’t let my writing deceive you- this is not a happy book. Many of the events are very horrible and brutal. Cleave’s humor lightens the mood somewhat, but it is decidedly dark.

All in all, it is an excellent read, and one of my current favorites. It’s hard to believe that this is only Cleave’s second book. I’m planning on reading his first book, Incendiary, soon.
As a final note: Little Bee is titled The Other Hand outside of the US.

Scavenger hunt!

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It’s time for a scavenger hunt! Your first clue is somewhere on my blog. Let’s just say the place where it is found is appropriate. The winner gets… fame and glory! Sorry, no prizes, I feel creepy asking for home addresses. If you have an idea for a prize that doesn’t require me to get your address, please post it in a comment. If I find one I like, not only will the winner get the prize, the commenter with the idea will, too! So start looking. The competition begins… NOW!  I will post a series of password protected blogs; the answer to the previous riddle will be the password. Only lowercase letters.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

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Set during the French revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel tells the story of a brave band of men who rescue French aristocrats out of the revolutionaries’ clutches. These seemingly impossibly escapes make the man whose code name is the Scarlet Pimpernel an English legend and a thorn in France’s side. M. Chauvelin, an agent of the French government, arrives in an English pub in the opening scene of the book. He discovers information about the band and the activities of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Among this information is an incriminating letter showing Armand St. Just to be working with the Scarlet Pimpernel. Chauvelin shows this letter to his sister, Marguerite Blakeney, “the cleverest woman in Europe” and the leader of fashion and society in England. In exchange for information about the Scarlet Pimpernel, he will turn over the letter to her, and her brother will not be harmed. Through his spying at the pub, Chauvelin knows that the Scarlet Pimpernel will be visiting a party that Marguerite will be at. She finds out that the Scarlet Pimpernel will be in the dining room at one, information that she passes on to Chauvelin. In a twist of events, she regrets her decision to inform on the Scarlet Pimpernel and begins a mad chase in France trying to prevent his seemingly inevitably capture.

While I enjoyed this exciting story very much, I did anticipate all of the plot twists, which was kind of disappointing. However, this story is still entertaining, and in some places, more enjoyable, if you know something the other characters don’t. The ending did leave me with many questions as to the future of the characters now that their identities were exposed and a few other loose ends were never quite tied up. All in all, though, it was an entertaining, quick read.