The novel is shaded by one horrific event on Nigeria's oil fields that changes the lives of its characters forever.
"I read a lot of books, and it's very, very rare that I feel this way about them, said Jennifer Joel, Cleave's book agent. "...This is just a special book, if you read it, you'll understand why."
Cleave is slated to appear on The Early Show on Wednesday to talk about his new book and questions surrounding the provocative plot. Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez has some tough questions for him - from our producers - about how the book ends. Maggie will also ask Cleave who he'd pick to play the female protagonist in "Little Bee," the major motion picture -- as rumor has it Nicole Kidman is competing for the movie rights.
Another hot topic is the violence in the book toward children.
"I know that there have been readers who have had a hard time with it, and I understand that. We all have sensitive issues." Joel said. "...To the extent that you're willing to go along with Chris on the experience of this book, he wants it to be real."
Joel added that the book illuminates big ideas through the lives of individual people and their struggles.
She said, "(Cleave) wants us to to be outraged about the plight of people all over the world who are thrown out of their homes, who are plagued by violence, who have no opportunities for education, who really do live in existential struggle every day.
Cleave's book editor, Marysue Rucci, called the book "transportive."
"It took me to a place I didn't know," she said. "It was mesmerizing. It was a complete page-turner. It was deep and provocative, and for that reason it becomes something bigger than what it is...It actually illuminates a lot about human nature."
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