Every once in a while I have a free day that I can dedicate to reading a book cover to cover. It’s becoming a rare occurrence, but it does happen sometimes. Yesterday was one of those days. I spent most of the day reading Chris Cleave’s novel Little Bee.
I don’t really want to say too much about this book, mainly because I don’t want to spoil it. It is the story of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee who comes to the UK, and Sarah O’Rourke, a British woman. Their stories collide in an amazing way.
I really loved Cleave’s writing ability and the way he manages to switch between two narrators so seamlessly. This book was full of great quotes and beautiful language. Here are a few of my favorites.
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.
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.
Both of those are taken from page nine of the book–two great quotes only nine pages in! The rest of the book is a treat as well. There are some difficult passages to read and think about, but Cleave does a wonderful job of addressing these serious issues while not dwelling on them too long. The events in the book are, sadly, things that happen in real life, and even sad stories can give us hope.