by Chris Cleave
Narrated by Anne Flosnick
10 hours 40 minutes
There has been a very curious marketing strategy surrounding Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Since it is a "truly special story", the publishers don't want to say what happens, however enough needs to be divulged to entice the reader. Then, once you've taken the plunge and read it, you are directed not to say what happens because "the magic is in how the story unfolds".
In an effort to save their marriage, British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke travel to a Nigerian beach, where a series of horrific events entwine their lives with 14-year-old Little Bee. The story, told in alternating voices of Sarah and Little Bee, begins two years later when Little Bee arrives on their doorstep outside London.
The reader does an excellent job, both as Sarah and with Little Bee's African accent. Her voice immediately suggested (to me, anyway) a dreamlike, lyrical, almost surreal tone, which I felt periodically throughout the rest of the novel. It was particularly evident when Little Bee reflects on certain themes: "Trouble is like the ocean: It covers two thirds of the world."
Little Bee's sense of wonder also comes through clearly when trying to think how she can possibly explain certain aspects of British life to "the girls back home".
Little Bee was a very absorbing audiobook, and one that I can recommend...but really, why all the secrecy?
Note: This book is titled The Other Hand in the UK.