Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Other Hand (Little Bee)
"This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again. The story starts there. Once you have read it you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how it unfolds."
Above is the blurb from the book Little Bee or The Other Hand by Chris Cleave. Quite irresistible isn't it? I'd heard so much about it in various book blogs and the blurb was a winner. Reader, I bought the book (and I'm sorry I did).
Sometimes it's harder to write a negative review. I have to explain why I didn't like the book. To be honest, it wasn't enjoyable at all. I was curious about this life changing event that occurred to the two main characters and so I kept reading on. The details of this fateful day are only revealed in the middle of the novel. It wasn't very shocking and maybe it's because the author left little clues here and there. We know all along that one character has a missing finger and another character lost her sister.
I was left with this feeling that the entire story was obviously constructed around that ONE single scene. Everything else was so weak.
I don't understand what the hype was all about. I should have been forewarned when the American publisher decided to change the title of the book from The Other Hand to Little Bee. Why do publishers do that and why do authors allow it? I thought they were two different books or part of a series. In the Philippines, they're available in both editions so it was very confusing. I wouldn't be surprised if this book underwent an expensive marketing campaign. After all, the blurb was designed to sell and sell it did.