The Book Club – Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Welcome to the first virtual book club at Book Allowance. The book is “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave. I’m happy to introduce Rebeca Barroso, my partner in crime. The plan is to alternate entries like old-school mail. You remember mail, right? Anyway, we’ll go back and forth until we’ve exhausted the raised topics. There may be spoilers so you’ll just have to deal with that.

The Final Word
by Rebeca Barroso

Hi!

I do think she’s all about waving the missing finger, especially with those that know what it’s about (Lawrence and Andrew) in order to get her way about whatever she’s demanding, but, you know, whatever makes her feel better about herself and her own moral trespasses. And though I can see how it comes across as a rant, I don’t hate Sarah. Even as I read the book or wrote the book club discussions, I don’t dislike her. She’s okay. I just enjoy dissecting her. As grey as she may be, there’s a few layers worth discussing.

Yeah, the beach scene is stressful, more than anything because we know we can’t trust the men with the guns and the machetes, nor any deals offered. Whatever anyone would choose to do or abstain from doing, ultimately the final decision on whether the girls live or die lies within this armed gang who has no moral compass whatsoever, nothing to lose, and no sense of honor.

If they had killed Little Bee anyway though, then Sarah’s finger offering and Andrew’s inaction would be viewed diametrically opposite to how they’re regarded now. Sarah would be forever the naïve Surrey girl who thinks a chopped finger can save a life (and proven wrong) and Andrew would have remained the pragmatic I-told-you-so-and-what-the-hell-were-you-thinking smartass he had been up to that point.

So, their actions in and of themselves are not what makes them a better or worse person, it’s the result, the random result, the arbitrary decision the men took about allowing one of the girls to live. Out of… fun? Torture? Honor? Flippancy? Ambivalency? Laziness?

And as tortured as Andrew is and as much as a coward they want to paint him, I think he had a deeper evolution than Sarah. I wonder what happens with Sarah and Charlie after Little Bee dies in Nigeria, though. Good book, I enjoyed it very much.

On to the Scarlet Pimpernel then!

Rebeca

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