The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

‘Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming.’

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

I have very mixed feelings about The Other Hand.

On the one hand it’s an interesting concept, the story is inventive and realistic. On the other hand (no pun intended), I’m not certain it is quite as great as it could have been, and almost is.

It’s written in a dual narrative; from the perspective of a Nigerian girl, and an English woman. The girl, ‘Little Bee’ is a very interesting character, much more so than the irritating character of Sarah and the equally irritating men in her life. What good there is in the novel, generally comes from Little Bee’s chapters.

The blurb asks you not to give away the story, mainly because the majority of it revolves around one single event, which if known, kind of defeats the point of reading the book in the first place.

I have two main observations to make about the style of the novel. The first is that Chris Cleave writes very well, and I did enjoy reading his words as a fellow writer. The second is that it’s obvious he did a lot of research on immigration and Nigeria before writing the story – that alone makes it worth reading because it brings a certain element of believability to the story.

I think it’s worth a read, but it didn’t blow me away.

Love From,

Original Book Girl

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