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Publisher's Summary

Little Bee, the young female refugee from the Nigerian delta, must master the Queen's English and the Queen's England if she is to escape her past and make a life in the UK after two years in a refugee detention center. The novel opens on the day Little Bee is released from the center with no identification papers and only the address of an English couple, Andrew and Sarah, whom she once met on a Nigerian beach. All three of their lives were horribly changed by that meeting on the beach. When Little Bee unexpectedly appears at Sarah's doorstep, it is the day of Andrew's funeral.

Told in turns in the first person by Little Bee and Sarah, the novel follows these two women as they struggle to save each other and themselves. Little Bee tries to make a life for herself in a totally alien land while Sarah must come to terms with her choices in London, including an extramarital affair and her seemingly frivolous career path. United by their past and by love for Sarah's young son, Charlie, Little Bee and Sarah become indispensable to each other. But their bond will face the ultimate test when the system catches up with Little Bee, and each woman must make a devastating decision.

©2009 Chris Cleave (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about Little Bee

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    211
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Little Bee

Another favorite. I've listened to it 4 times. Anne Flosnick is one of my favorite narrators. She made this character come to life. It was easy to lover Little Bee.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Character and plot annoyingly implausible

Although it is well narrated, this book irritated me for 3 reasons. 1. In several places the plot is moved along through implausible devices. E.g. When Little Bee is selected to phone the police, even though she barely knows how to use a phone. 2. The thought and speech of characters is often implausible. E.g. The tiresome way Charlie the little boy makes a grammatical mistake in every utterance. 3. It employs predictable, well-worn stereotypes: e.g. the white working class racists that Bee encounters everywhere telling her to get back to Umbongo land. There are some clever and sometime witty conceits (e.g. Bee's thoughts about the queen). And I wouldn't say it was a bad book--just an annoying one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Breath of Fresh Air

Chris Cleave brings a fresh take on a classic genre. I read this book for work, (high school English teacher) and the almost eleven hours flew right by, well crafted, dynamic characters and strong narration.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What a disappointment

Great idea, poor execution.

I thought a story about the connection between a young Nigerian refugee and grieving British woman would be powerful and moving. But I found the story far-fetched and the characters annoying. I often didn't believe the dialogue or the character's choices, which meant that I stopped caring what would happen.

The narration was fine, but in this instance it would have made sense to have two narrators, since there are two clear voices in the book telling the story. I am often a fan of one narrator books, but in this case it would have been better with two. Not that that would have made me enjoy the story... but, still.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hard to press stop

The book was great, easy listen. After I pause, I was always looking for the next opportunity to listen again,.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boooriing

struggled and struggled to finish it. it took too long to tell this story and it ended as a big disappointment.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Wanted so much to like it...

This book came highly recommended, and as such, I really wanted to enjoy it. For me, the narrator was a bit all over the place with her accent, which should have been Nigerian, sounding more like that of Asian descent. The story... disjointed. The carelessness of the protagonist Sara was difficult to ignore, while the experience of Little Bee and her age was a bit unbelievable. The ending, well, while I understand the author’s intention was abrupt and rushed. This could have been a most excellent novel with a most excellent theme, but it falls short due to its disjointed plot and ineffective characters.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unsatisfactory Ending (and mislabeled chapters)

The ending of the book left me with many unfinished questions, as though there would surely be a follow up. As far as the quality of the audio, the chapter numbers don’t match with the printed copy, which made it unbelievably frustrating to flip flop between print and audio.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It was torture listening to this

Trite writing, an over reliance on leaden metaphor, annoying characters, even more annoying readers. I hated this book. I kept listening in hope that the wonderful novel I’d read about in reviews might emerge, finally. But it never did. This writer seems to be constantly admiring his own writing. Tiresome beyond measure.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • RS
  • 03-09-18

Had so much potential

Book kept me fascinated through most of it, but then just fell flat. It’s like the author couldn’t think of a way to end it. But the beginning of the book pulled at my heart and left me thinking about it through most of my day. I was real disappointed with the end. The audible reader was good and did a nice job transitioning between characters.