The book touches a topic that you rarely read about–refugees.Without giving too much away, the book is a heartwarming and brutal story of a Nigerian refugee Little Bee, in her early teens, who is now in United Kingdom and just out of deplorable detention center where the women have to go so far as to complete a series of paperwork to obtain a sanitary napkin.
She reaches the door of Sarah O’Rourke and her husband, whom she met on a beach in Nigeria on a fateful night that changed all their lives. Little Bee reaches Sarah’s door at the most tragic time, the day of her husband’s funeral. As Sarah deals with tragedy in her own life, her only hope is Little Bee. Each of them find the will to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward.
What is truly amazing about this book is how it captures both Little Bee’s view point and Sarah’s by writing one chapter in Little Bee’s voice, followed by the next one in Sarah’s voice. Little Bee, who has seen horrific atrocities in her young life, still had a girlish innocence describing how her life would be better as a British pound coin. She tries to find solace in the only person who showed her some kindness.
Sarah, who was unfaithful and neglected her husband’s depression, was selfless in trying to protect Little Bee and her sister.
Sarah’s son Charlie, always dressed up as Batman, is touching, as a child who always wants to find out if you are a baddie or a goodie and is the ray of hope Little Bee needs to move forward.
A must read book, although the book reminds us of an unfortunate reality–there is no refuge for refugees.