Monday, 15 March 2010

Little Bee

This weekend I finished Little Bee or The Other Hand as it is called in the UK, by Chris Cleave. Why this novel has two different titles depending on whether you buy it in the UK or US is beyond me. Anyway, it turned out to be one of the best novels I've read this year and it's only March.

I bought this novel after reading a few dozen rave reviews and now I'm ready to add another one to the list. Chris Cleave is one of those authors who just springs up out of nowhere and takes you by surprise with a stunning and intense tale about two unusual woman, redemption, refuge and Batman.

The funny thing is that when I bought the book, despite having read multiple reviews, I had no idea what it was about. I just loved the US cover. On the back of the book is says:

We don't want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again. The story starts here... Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

Like all other bloggers, I won't say another word except you have to read this novel! Naturally it is an ingenious sales pitch, making the content all mysterious and that but trust me, the less you know, the better it is seeing as the content matter is quite subversive and (shock horror) emotional but I won't say another word.

Little Bee / The Other Hand is a novel that will make you laugh out loud due to some of the most endearing characters I've met in a long time and it will also make you gasp during some very horrific yet crucial scenes. It is simply a beautiful, socially relevant (there's a first for me), heartbreaking, hilarious, raw, hopeful and gorgeously written novel by a man who is a master at creating believable and truly engaging characters and voices. He is a fearless, eloquent and utterly compelling author who has produced a shocking story infused with sharp and witty dialogue.

Chris Cleave was a columnist for The Guardian and this is his second novel. Needless to say, I'm dying to read his first fictional outing, Incendiary, which is already burning a hole in my ever expanding TBR pile.

No comments: