Compelling

The back story of Little Bee has this as its gist.

WE DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK. IT IS 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.

And because I don’t want to spoil your fun when you read it, I will just tell you the inspiration for the novel by Chris Cleave.

“In 2001, an Angolan man named Manuel Bravo fled to England and claimed asylum on the grounds that he and his family would be persecuted and killed if they were returned to Angola. He lived in a state of uncertainty for four years pending decision on his application. Then, without warning, in September 2005 Manuel Bravo and his thirteen-year-old son were seized in a dawn raid and interned at an Immigration Removal Centre in southern England. They were told that they would be forcibly deported to Angola the next morning. That night, Manuel Bravo took his own life by hanging himself in a stairwell. His son was awakened in his cell and told the news. What had happened was that Manuel Bravo, aware of a rule under which unaccompanied minors cannot be deported from the UK, had taken his own life in order to save the life of this son. His last words to his child were: “Be brave. Work hard. Do well at school.”

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