Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little Bee's journey in the UK

This was an enriching discussion where we felt emotional about Little Bee's life from Nigeria to the circumstances that brought her to the UK. The description of the deportation center is real and the author does a good job in displaying the grim reality of what is happening with immigration in Western countries. 

There is an interesting easy flow to the story as it paths through two voices of women living such different worlds. However, we had issues with the white woman's voice and couldn't grasped the reasons behind her decisions. She was a complex woman based on nothing substantial, in contrast to a young woman from Nigeria who seem to have a simple life until Western greed got in the way.

It was surprising to have a male author write this story and it felt like he over-exaggerated the emotions that women go through to put a dramatic edge.

We felt that there was no big mystery and the one flaw we saw was that the climax came sooner than later and made the ending questionable. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile read and definitely a book to discuss with friends.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - July 2010

This month, July,  we'll be discussing the book: Little Bee by Chris Cleave. 

 Location: We're meeting in the Potrero Hill neighborhood - a first for the book club - at Farley's coffee house -

Here's what it says on the back cover of the book:
This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - the story starts there...
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends all about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.
Sounds intriguing, no? 

Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sisters in the Congo

A story based in the Congo, where war is rampant still today and we read about a missionary family led by a man who feels his calling to impose beliefs on the local people without hesitation. Even though he is the central figure we never really get to hear his voice, because the story is shared by the women in the family.

The four daughters play their own voice, so different from each other and none ever being the ultimate hero. It is all about their experience and their choices, which are unexpected yet reliable.

The writing was such a delight - very easy read yet not lacking in details and I truly appreciate the details of Congo history, Patrice Lumumba, Mobutu as well as Angola's history. It reflects a story of survival, of adaptation, of not letting go of a place that you hate and love at the same time. 

Not sure if this is Barbara Kingsolver's best, although many will argue it is - but encourages to read her other books!