Review of "The Other Hand - Chris Cleave"

published 18/06/2011 | Spottydog11
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"The Other Hand"

To firstly introduce this book I am going to write down what the description from the back of the book. "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 on 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 your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds."

This description had me really interested in the book before I even read it so I think it's a great way to describe a book. I was genuinely not sure what to expect from this book or what it would be about etc. Don't read this book if you are looking for a light, uplifting read, it is dark, depressing and frankly amazingly sad as well as quite shocking and disturbing but that being said I did enjoy it if enjoy is the right word to describe this book.

Like the description said I don't really want to give too much of this plot away but I will tell you a little bit. The two women in question are Sarah, a magazine executive and Little Bee an illegal immigrant from Nigeria. Two women from two very different worlds whose lives collide in the most unbelievable way. I have to say the way they met was quite shocking, very shocking in fact but I was expecting something a bit more shocking maybe from the description as the build up to their meeting was hyped up very much at the beginning of the book that you kept thinking what on earth could be the big thing that happens to connect them.

The story is told from both their perspectives and chops and changes from one woman to the other. I liked the way the author did this and found it was really nice to hear the opinion of both women and how they saw the world. I have to say that I enjoyed Sarah's version of events better than little Bee's mostly but they were both quite good accounts of events. The book has a lot of different relationships that are dealt with between husband and wife, lovers, mother and child and friends and I think they are very complex lives, intertwined well together.

It is definitely a story that needs to be told and unfortunately is probably more real than any of us would care to admit or know. Nigeria is somewhere that not many people ever visit or know much about but it has so many scary stories to tell that are truly shocking. This was a good read and one I think everyone should be aware of.

The book is 374 pages long and the ISBN number is 978-0-340-96342-5. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Novel Award.

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Comments on this review

  • KarenUK published 21/06/2011
    That blurb on the back would make me want to read this book too.
  • moistbabe published 19/06/2011
    Definitely got me interested in this one x
  • mumsymary published 19/06/2011
    good read
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Listed on Ciao since: 05/05/2009