[KINDLE] ❄ The Other Hand By Chris Cleave – Bandrider.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • The Other Hand
  • Chris Cleave
  • English
  • 21 June 2019
  • 9780385665308

10 thoughts on “The Other Hand

  1. says:

    I wanted to like Little Bee The reviews for it are exceptional Book List starred it, named it among their February Best of the Month picks, O Magazine fondly mentions it I mean come on, Library Journal labels it the next Kite Runner for goodness sakes I couldn t wait to be swept away And I was for the first couple of chapters Little Bee s character came on very strong and distinct I felt like I could pick her out of a crowd and guess what she was thinking But I gradually started rolling my eyes and questioning plot details and characterization.For example, Sarah s mom and sister are briefly mentioned they come to her house after the funeral, but she begs them to leave her alone There s no mention of their reaction to the fact that there is suddenly a Nigerian girl living at her house Also, according to the timeline description it seems that Charlie begins wearing the Batman costume before his father passes It would make sense if he began wearing it after the passing based on his reasons for wearing it And seriously, the cops caught Little Bee because she was at the scene of Charlie s near disappearance Seriously Sarah s relationship with Lawrence is odd, Charlie draws conclusions unbelieving for a four year old, and the ending is rushed and unmoving There s just this hokey feel to it that I couldn t get past.This is the first time ever for me that I could tell that the author was not the same sex as his main characters, so when it came to Sarah rather than Little Bee The way Sarah thinks, the things she says, her observations, and even her interactions with her son just don t make sense It is clear that Cleave failed to unearth his female voice.Speaking of voice, Little Bee s chapters were much convincing and enjoyable than Sarah s The entire book written from Little Bee s point of view would have probably been a much better read.I m not giving this book only 1 star because it was too sad, or too graphic, or too haunting It just fell flat It wasn t convincing All the ends didn t meet nor were all the i s dotted, t s crossed It just didn t do it for me, and it is most certainly NOT the next Kite Runner Good grief, it doesn t even compare.


  2. says:

    I would have ranked this higher, were it not for the ridiculous hype on the jacket and the annoying Editor s letter at the front all of which tell me that is book will change my life, that it s a masterpiece This book stands on its own without needing it.I also pretty fundamentally disagreed with the assertion that it s hilarious although the scene on the African beach is horrific.This is not a hilarious book it is one of the most challenging reads I have had this year It tells the desperately tragic story of three people two English and one Nigerian whose lives coincide in the most terrible way.Asylum and immigration in the UK are controversial topics in which media hysteria continually advocates that most asylum seekers are bogus This book, which has been obviously extremely well researched, lays bare that lie in a tight, devastating and tragic tale.Yes, this is a book that carries a very strong message and yes, this is a book that deserves to be read Just try not to get too angry about the hype surrounding it the subject deserves better.


  3. says:

    Chris Cleave s ability to float effortlessly between two distinct ethnic voices Little Bee, a refugee from Nigeria, and Sarah, a young widow in England as their stories spin out and around and through one another was nearly mystical.Years before this book opens, the lives of Sarah and Little Bee violently collided on a beach in Nigeria, and when sheer determination and courage bring them back together again every secret of their hearts is unfolded before our eyes.I found myself reading and rereading passages, just to fully appreciate the gravity of emotion packed in them Little Bee s voice, particularly, is by turns wryly funny and wrenching Nothing escapes her notice, a skill honed by the brutality she witnessed in her native country.I put this book down after finishing it this morning with the distinct feeling that it will haunt me for a very, very long time Brilliant I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly That is what the scar makers want us to think But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them We must see all scars as beauty Okay This will be our secret Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying A scar means, I survived. Sad words are just another beauty A sad story means, this storyteller is alive.


  4. says:

    SPOILERS In a way I feel sorry for Chris Cleave I wonder how he felt after seeing what the publishing and marketing machine crafted as the back cover promo copy for his book Really Not that I would have liked the book had they not been so brash and marketing machine y, but I may have given it of a fair chance We don t want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book It is a truly SPECIAL STORY and we don t want to spoil it NEVERTHELESS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this 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 t face Two years later, they meet again the story starts there Once you ve read it, you will want to tell your friends what happens The magic is in how the story unfolds I cry foul The story unfolds as other stories unfold Nothing is surprising, nothing happens that you could not see coming chapters earlier There is nothing new in this book not in terms of writing, not in terms of plot, not in terms of structure I understand the publishing behemoth and the machinations it goes through to build a buzz It s just so full of itself sometimes that I want to scream into a pillow And this was one of those times I wanted to scream into a pillow.LITTLE BEE is remarkably average It is a book ripe for Oprah book club picking if there s a heart sting to pull, the author makes a go of it But instead of tugging at my heartstrings, the book makes a relentless grab, the threads unraveling until any feeling I was holding for the characters was gone and I was left feeling threadbare I know horrible things happen in Nigeria and countless other countries I just didn t like the parade of clich s rolled out by LITTLE BEE in an effort to drive home the point.No character was a surprise Sarah is the young, strong, career minded, wealthy, white, British woman who runs her own fashion magazine struggling ever so not convincingly with losing her former self as a real journalist having a long term affair with a man that began w in 30 minutes of her meeting him having a husband that kills himself after that terrible choice on that fateful day on the beach in Nigeria, where they were trying to save their marriage having a son who ever so quirkily will only dress in Batman costume and insists on being called Batman and who, at four or five, can t seem to speak beyond the level of a 2 1 2 year old I couldn t stand her Sarah comes to learn some very important life lessons from Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee and orphan Little Bee escapes the horrors of Nigeria and a detention center and finds her way to the middle of an idyllic white setting, where Cleave puts her on a mission to absolve guilt and change lives.Cleave tells the story in the voices of Little Bee and Sarah, in alternating chapters For the first few of Little Bee s chapters I enjoyed his writing and found his characterization strong I never liked Sarah s chapters I never believed in her as a person She was a woman full of stereotype written by a man who perhaps should have written from a man s perspective Women writing as men, men writing as women it rarely works out very well But Little Bee s character is much gender neutral, and I think that s why it works better for Cleave When Little Bee would talk of finding a way to kill herself in any situation, in case the men came, I believed it When Little Bee talked of telling the story to the girls back at home, I imagined how hard it really would be to relate the events to someone in that distant land.Overall, I found the book contrived and patronizing As someone said in another review Little Bee s story is brutal and important, and yet it is filled with eye rolling cutesiness and an unnecessary amount of predictable padding Too sweet for this reader I d have to agree Rumor has it the book s being made into a movie, which isn t surprising.All that said, I know I will still recommend it to a number of my customers, because I know they will love it And I guess that s the art of the handsell recommending what fits a customer, not what you wish would fit him her.


  5. says:

    I generally pass on books written by a man in the voice of a woman And a white man writing in a black woman s voice No, thanks But this book gives nothing away up front, and I was hooked before I could worry much about the writer s intentions.The chapters alternate between Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, and Sarah, an English suburban mom They are drawn together under extraordinary circumstances, and I found myself regularly surprised by the turn of events I didn t know how things were going to end until I was at the last page.It ll be a movie no doubt about that It played like a movie in my head I loved it, though.


  6. says:

    I had hoped this would be a really incredible gut wrencher, heartbreaker of a book, but I feel like it didn t really live up to the potential it had Like it was a little scattered and unfocused, so instead of showing us exactly what we should see, we are instead shown the things that lie around the thing that we should see, and we have to put the picture of the thing together on our own If this book had just been about the relationship of two women who share a horrible event in their history, then this could have been a great book for me But the issues that were folded into this story left me feeling a little unsatisfied One needs to be ballsy when dealing with these kinds of issues, if one is going to include them in their book One needs to be willing to make it REAL, to make the reader ache for the characters that go through the things you show them I ve read a lot of gut wrenching books I was hoping that this would be one that would make me sit up and take notice but it didn t I didn t really feel like I could identify with any of the characters Little Bee was a bit of an anomaly, being where she s been and where she is now I found it hard to really understand her, even though it s apparent that she s meant to bridge the gap between her world and ours and allow us to empathize for those enduring such cruelty But I didn t GET her, even though I mostly liked her and had my fingers crossed that she d be OK Sarah wasn t much better for me, either I could understand her better, but I didn t like her I thought that she was incredibly selfish and uncaring in her Suburban Early 30s Professional life The way she derailed Little Bee s story with her own petty concerns and tedious details those about her career and Lawrence annoyed me I understand the point to the story, I do, I just didn t care because I didn t much like her She did grow up and mature over the course of the book, but the damage was done All of this is not to say that this book isn t good It is, but it s JUST good It works out that way sometimes I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book the writing is gorgeous, and there are so many lines that are quotable gems strewn throughout but great novels are than just pretty words I had hoped to really experience this one, to be thrown into the lives of these women and see something amazing through their eyes I didn t get that, but for the potential and the beautiful writing, this gets a two If it had been gutsy, and been focused, it could have easily been a five star book Too bad.


  7. says:

    Have you ever met someone you idolized An artist or singer, maybe Someone super talented or brilliant or famous But then when you met them in person you found out they were lame What a rip off That s sort of how I feel about this book.It s the story of two women and how their lives converge Little Bee is a 16 year old Nigerian refugee who has seen her entire village and family brutally murdered Sarah is a 30 something suburbanite juggling career and family The two women met once on a beach in Africa and something happened which changed both their lives, linking them forever The story starts 2 years after the incident and is told from each woman s perspective, semi alternately In the beginning it s mostly Little Bee I was completely taken in Her spirit is beautiful, stunning, overwhelming, almost too bright and painful to look at Her story is told in richly detailed moments that take pages to get through I got completely caught up in the world she d created I was there I could see what she saw And then, bit by bit, this gorgeous, lazy prose is interrupted by Sarah s story She s confused She s apathetic She makes idiotic decisions She s having the most lack luster, extramarital affair ever She kills the story incrementally Her story is also told in detailed moments but I couldn t wait for it to stop There are glimpses of Little Bee in this middle section but it s as if Sarah s story has stripped her of all sparkle Ugh And then, miraculously, Little Bee is returned to us at the end of the book She is delivered with her beauty unscathed and her voice is lovely as ever By the time I was finished I had almost forgotten how Sarah ruined everything.


  8. says:

    This book WILL 1 Make you laugh hysterically.2 Disturb you mightily.3 Make you think A LOT.4 Make you examine your conscience, provided you actually have one to examine Especially with regard to immigration issues and the tendency of wealthier nations to throw money at every problem in the hopes of making it go away.This book MAY 1 Horrify you.2 Make you angry.3 Shock you 4 Make you cry.The basic story involves the relationship that develops between Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee girl, and Sarah, a thoroughly modern British woman The chapters alternate between the two womens stories This male author writes quite convincingly from female perspectives Searchingly sensitive but not overwrought This is one of those books where it will be impossible to predict who will like it and who won t There are some serious current issues addressed, both worldwide and unique to the United Kingdom It s a VERY fast read, so give it a go Whatever your opinion about it, you won t forget it


  9. says:

    i cant say anything about the plot of this book because the dust jacket pleads with me not to and i am nothing if not obedient but you can read plot points in all the other reviews by rebels i will say i loved it enough to order in and set aside his earlier book, which had never called out to me before and this is my favorite cover ever.


  10. says:

    I would have to disagree with the back cover s claim that this book is often hilarious This book is anything but hilarious While there are indeed moments of light reprieve through Little Bee s witty observations and Charlie s adamant insistence of keeping his Batman costume on at all times to ward off the baddies , this book is much often dark and disturbing Briefly, the book centers around a British couple with a troubled marriage who, while vacationing on the beaches of Nigeria in an effort to rekindle their relationship, encounter two young refugee girls fleeing from soldiers What happens next I m not supposed to say according to the editor s note as it would spoil the story too much But the lives of these four people are irrevocably changed by the encounter, and in some pretty dreadful ways.There are some truly wonderful moments in this book, and I particularly enjoyed the chapters told from Little Bee s perspective Her voice felt genuine and alive, and I personally think the book may have been powerful had it been told entirely from her point of view The chapters told from the perspective of Sarah the wife in the above mentioned British couple just seemed to fall flat for me in comparison Overall, a worthy read I just wish the book hadn t built itself up so much, and had been confident in letting the story unfold quietly on its own Had it not hailed itself as a masterpiece, I think I would have been pleasantly surprised instead of somewhat disappointed 3.5 stars.


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About the Author: Chris Cleave

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