Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Other Hand: Chris Cleaves

So, well .... hmmmmm. I've read the book. I just finished last week actually which is nice because normally I finish the book months before it becomes "THE BOOK" and then during the discussion which I inevitably lead I have no idea what actually happened in the book. Which needless to say, (yet I still will) doesn't lend itself well to guiding an hour long conversation on it. Having just completely exaggerated how long the London Girly Book Club actually spends in pursuit of literary analysis, I'll now go on to say that I am indeed ready for an in-depth scrutiny of Little Bee and all her anomalies.

This book came HIGHLY recommended. But, I have to say... I didn't LOVE it. I found it tough to get into. Not James Joyce tough but it was a far cry from Sophie Kinsella easy. The story was interesting but for me it was almost two completely different stories half haphazardly put together. The author, very cleverly (perhaps) doesn't give away anything on the back of the book..and the book came as mysteriously recommended to me. "I can't tell you about it... but READ IT" she gushed. So you're taken through the first hundred pages as you learn exactly what happened THAT DAY on the beach... and then it seems to be a completely different story where the author grasps to pull together the current realities of his characters.

Something has to be said about the subject, it was certainly a very sad, true depiction of events that many of us don't realize or recognize. And I will certainly give Cleaves credit for bringing to light an injust system.

Share your thoughts with comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a new member of the book club and was very excited about my first meet up last Monday but unfortunately last minute could not attend. I did read the book however and was looking forward sharing my thoughts so excited about this new blog - looks awesome! Great work :)

    I agree with what you said, I didn't LOVE it. Makes me feel like I have no feelings at all saying that since it was a very sad and emotional book. Sad story yes, but could have been dictated far better to be able to feel their pain a little more. I think my problem with the book was that I felt the author kind of 'dumbed-down' the story, talked down to the readers. She kind of just spelt everything out for us. The number of times she had to tell us what Bee would do because the men were coming. We all know that was what she feared but had she let us have a little more imagination of our own I might have enjoyed it a little more.

    Not sure what was discussed at the book club as I missed it but very keen to hear what others said and did more people enjoy it than not at this meet up?