Friday, 8 January 2016

The Other Hand (aka Little Bee) by Chris Cleave

The Other Hand

From Goodreads

Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, has just been released from the British immigration detention center where she has been held under horrific conditions for the past two years, after narrowly escaping a traumatic fate in her homeland of Nigeria. Alone in a foreign country, without a family member, friend, or pound to call her own, she seeks out the only English person she knows. Sarah is a posh young mother and magazine editor with whom Little Bee shares a dark and tumultuous past.

They first met on a beach in Nigeria, where Sarah was vacationing with her husband, Andrew, in an effort to save their marriage after an affair, and their brief encounter has haunted each woman for two years. Now together, they face a disturbing past and an uncertain future with the help of Sarah’s four-year-old son, Charlie, who refuses to take off his Batman costume. A sense of humor and an unflinching moral compass allow each woman, and the reader, to believe that even in the face of unspeakable odds, humanity can prevail.
My thoughts
I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.
This book had been sat on the shelf in a cupboard by the side of my bed for several years and I started it towards the end of last year, due to taking part in a challenge that had a criteria of: A Book from the bottom of your TBR pile, this one fit the bill as it was the bottom of four books on a shelf. 

I found this a thought provoking story in so many ways, it would make the perfect read for a Reading Group with plenty to discuss. It was very well written and I would assume that it had been quite well researched too.

A chance meeting on a Nigerian beach will have far reaching consequences in the future. As the story is told in a series of flashbacks between the past and present, we learn all about the lives of Sarah and Andrew, Little Bee and her sister. 
At first Sarah and Andrew appeared to have the perfect life, married to one another they have one child Charlie. However, first impressions can be very deceiving, as life begins to unravel around Sarah, a blast from the past appears in her life again. How will she cope, as two worlds are set to collide and her life looks like it will never be the same again.

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