Seattle is discussing Little Bee

chris_cleave_0511This week, 2011 Seattle Reads author Chris Cleave is in town. I was fortunate to meet him while he spent an hour answering questions on the library’s Facebook page. He was charming, fun to talk to and obviously pleased to find himself featured in Seattle, where the now widely named “One Book, One Community” program began.

My book group discussed Little Bee last week. The discussion started with a discussion of the two women who narrate the novel, Sarah and Little Bee. Some readers found Sarah annoying and exasperating while others applauded her complexity and bravery. Many readers fell in love with Little Bee and her voice. There was a fascinating portion of the conversation where the group pondered who was more mature and who was more naive.

Then the discussion moved on to whether the book was hopeful or not. One reader did not think so, while another rather emphatically defended her case for hope–what could be more hopeful than one person reaching out and helping another and risking herself in the process?

bnr_seareads_2011_145x200After facilitating two discussions on Little Bee, one in person and one online, I have come to understand that this is a book that people feel passionate about. It elicits strong reactions, to be sure. Not just divisive opinions, although I have encountered those, but big, personal connections and stances.

Has your group discussed Little Bee? Or can anyone from Santa Monica chime in on how their community read program on Little Bee went? Were your discussions just as passionate.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

1 Comment on "Seattle is discussing Little Bee"

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  1. lesliemorse@comcast.net' Leslie Goldfarb says:

    I just finished listening to the “Little Bee” audiobook and am really shaken by the ending. I had really hoped there would be some ability of Sarah to influence events and Little Bee’s future. And I’d like to know if Sarah was ever able to write the book of stories about the plight of refugees. Having Bee captured and possibly killed in front of her and Charlie is a devastating thought. Has Chris Cleave ever commented on a possible epilogue?

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