Friday, June 3, 2011

Cleave, Chris (Little Bee)

It is a very rare book that I don't want to put down. This was one of them.

The best part about it? The surprise you think they are going to reveal at the end is not the surprise you thought. There are multiple surprises and multiple reveals, and they're all done without forced description, plotting or conversation. I cannot believe it hasn't won any awards (nominated for several, but no wins). The cleverness of the writing alone should have propelled it into many award categories.

The tale of Sarah the white Brit and Little Bee the black African realistically talks about the displacement of cultures and individuals. It pulls no punches. I worry that its obvious leaning towards human rights has classified it in critics' minds as something not quite worthy of top literary spots. How snooty of them, I say. The book excels at discussing weighty issues like illegal immigration, human community and the blinders we all blithely wear, without pretense and without preaching. How could all y'all literary geniuses not reward that??

As the back of the book pleads, I will not say anything about how this book ends, so as to leave the surprise(s) for you to encounter on your own.

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