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Chris Cleave's book "Little Bee" is buzzing in the literary world with praise - and secrecy. 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 answer 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. Rodriguez will also ask Cleave whom he'd pick to play the female protagonist in "Little Bee," the major motion picture. Rumor has it Nicole Kidman is competing for the movie rights.
The book also tackles the hot-button issue of violence 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."
Cleave's book editor, Marysue Rucci, calls 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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E-Mail The Author
Do you have questions for Chris Cleave? E-mail them to us at The Early Show and they may be among the questions our anchors ask the author when he visits on May 6.
"Chris Cleave's characters will find a place in contemporary literature and in your heart. Their strong and vivid voices captured me with the first line and held me to the bittersweet ending. As unimaginable horrors are slowly and surprisingly revealed, the special story remains entertaining and life-affirming."
-Lindsey Pritzlaff, Early Show Intern
Favorite Book: The Catcher in the Rye in J.D. Salinger
"Warning: this book is not for the faint of heart. Little Bee will take you on an emotional rollercoaster while you are reading it and haunt you long after you are done. It is a beautifully written book that was never predictable or contrite."
-Audrey Gruber, Early Show Consumer Producer
Favorite Book: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
"A well-written book with great characters and many twists and turns. I loved the little boy character who believed he was Batman… such a true and pure outlook on life… I can relate since I have two boys myself, a 5-year-old and 7-year-old. Little Bee shows us that you are not born with any fears or prejudices and that the world would have lots of naked people playing on the beach if fears and prejudices were not taught."
-Robert LaForty, Early Show Producer
Favorite Book: Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
"Chris Cleave's charming use language and the alternating narration between the two main characters, coupled with a quick moving storyline, make Little Bee an enjoyable read. I think most readers will find something they can relate to in the strong female characters -- whether it be Little Bee's curiosity and unending optimism, or Sarah's struggles with guilt and grief. However, I found some aspects of the plotline a little implausible, particularly the idea that two successful journalists would be unaware of the dangers of traveling to Nigeria on holiday. While I tried to suspend disbelief as best as possible, the entire story rests upon that ill-fated vacation."
-Lauren Danza, Early Show Producer
Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I really enjoyed Little Bee because of the descriptive writing and the connection I felt with the main characters. Little Bee has a strong ethical note to it, one that made me think about what I would do if I were them. When it ended I couldn't wait to get into work the next day to find someone else who had finished it!"
-Laura Berger, Early Show Producer
Favorite Book: Personal History by Katherine Graham
Little Bee took turns between the two narrator's voices and although they came from such different places - Sarah from the first world, Little Bee from the third world - their struggles were both so great in proportion to where they came from, and the lives they lived, that they both evoked a great deal of empathy. Life can be so terribly difficult, yet within all of that Little Bee shows us that there is so much beauty."
-Amy Spielholtz, Early Show Production Coordinator
Favorite Book: Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett
What Did You Think?
Use the comments area below to tell us what you thought of Little Bee.
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
Be warned the comments below may discuss specifics from the book.