Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Club Musings~~Little Bee by, Chris Cleave

Little Bee by, Chris Cleave narrated by, Anne Flosnik

We read this for our library bookclub as you can see from my review below I loved this book I thought Little Bees spirit and hope were amazing however nobody else liked this book all they saw were the horrors while I saw the beauty and it got me wondering; is it because Anne Flosnik humanized everyone so beautifully that I had a completely different experience with this book because everyone else read it in paper form and I listened to it on audio: it was like we read 2 different books. I wonder if they would think differently if they listened to it too.
So, I would say, listen to it on audio to truly experience the beauty of this book.
The audiobook for Little Bee is available on Library2Go website.

I have also added some of my favorite quotes from the book that may give you some idea of what I found beautiful.

My review:

“People wonder how they are ever going to change their lives, but really it is frighteningly easy.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

This was a beautiful story and I fell in love with Little Bee, her attitude on life ,the storyteller and the scars were such beautiful metaphors for life be happy you survived and don’t let what happened to you dictate your whole life. I loved this quote;

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

I liked the way the author made these distinctions in language and speech the way Charlie puts things and the halting way Little Bee talks I thought said volumes about these characters (see below how great this is on audio!). When Little Bee changed her name I thought she changed it to something beautiful and strong and she picked it herself and for me it felt like her first step to freedom, a freedom she never stopped believing she would have I think that’s what I loved about her she is a survivor but she doesn’t just survive she lives. I also enjoyed what she said about proverbs where if she tells a little story then says “that is a proverb in my country” people will suddenly shake their head yes, yes and look solemn. This cracked me up because I could see this working!

I kind of wish there hadn’t been the Lawrence storyline, I guess it made Sarah more human? more flawed? But maybe I didn’t like this storyline because I didn’t like Lawrence, even though we never really get to know Andrew I can’t help thinking he was a better person than Lawrence could ever be but that’s just my opinion of him. Andrew was such a huge part of the story yet we never really get to know him we only have the reasons the people left behind have deduced as to why he died the way he did we never get to hear from him what led him to that end. There I times Sarah does annoy me it’s in the little things it gets a little better in the scene with Charlie at the river but then she rides off and I felt just leaves Little Bee to fend for herself with the police. I felt she was at times self-centered but then there were times of such huge compassion Sarah was kind of an enigma there were times I liked her and many times I didn’t.

I loved Charlie/Batman too I felt so sorry for him but I loved watching his relationship with Little Bee grow and couldn’t help wondering if this growing relationship was one of the reasons when Sarah thought about sending Little Bee away is that she was jealous with no one to blame but herself.

Audio production: I not only fell in love with Little Bee I fell in love with her narrator Anne Flosnik ,she was perfect in her narration, her voices for Little Bee, Sarah and Charlie were fantastic I thought she did great on Little Bee’s broken Queen’s English and the odd way Charlie talked was that much more enhanced by her narration, her accents and inflections were so great! I will be looking for many more from this wonderful narrator!

4  Star book
5  Star narration

“You travel here and you travel there, trying to get out from under the cloud, and nothing works, and then one day you realize you've been carrying the weather around with you.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive. The next thing you know something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“I’m telling you, trouble is like the ocean. It covers two thirds of the world.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“If I could not smile, I think my situation would be even more serious.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“Isn't it sad, growing up? You start off like my Charlie. You start off thinking you can kill all the baddier and save the world. Then you get a little bit older, maybe Little Bee's age, and you realize that some of the world's badness is inside you, that maybe you're a part of it. And then you get a bit older still, and a bit more comfortable, and you start wondering whether that badness you've seen in yourself is really all that bad at all. You start talking about ten per cent."
Maybe that's just developing as a person, Sarah."
I sighed and looked out at Little Bee
Well," I said, "maybe this is a developing world.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee
“At some point you just have to turn around and face your life head on.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

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