Chapter 5 Summary

Little Bee awakens on Sarah's sofa at the beginning of Chapter 5. She feels out of sorts for a moment, not recalling where she is. She looks at all the nice things in the O'Rourke home and marvels at the thought of trying to explain the luxuries to her friends back home.

Sarah awakens and comes downstairs. She tells Little Bee that she is now ready and needs to hear her story. Little Bee sighs. She feels angry. She does not want to talk about it but she knows that she must. She begins with the decision that she will not withhold any of the gruesome details.

After Andrew and Sarah left, Little Bee says the men took both herself and her sister down the beach. They came upon an upside-down fishing boat. Some of the men pushed Little Bee under the vessel. On top of the boat, the men had their way with Nkiruka, repeatedly raping and beating her. Little Bee could hear the blows and her sister's screams. The attack lasted for hours. Little Bee could not see the rapists or her sister, but through a gap in the boat's slats, she could see the leader of the men. He had removed himself from his company and was standing alone on the beach, gazing out over the water.

As she speaks, Little Bee is aware of Sarah's horror and distress. While she does not want to intentionally hurt the woman, Little Bee also knows she cannot now stop her story. Stories, Little Bee says, "are the tellers of us."

So Little Bee continues. She tells Sarah how she heard her sister's bones being broken one by one until the young woman died. The dogs were allowed to eat her sister's body; that which could not be consumed was thrown into the sea.

Softly, Sarah asks what happened to Little Bee herself. Little Bee recounts how she stayed hidden under the suffocatingly hot boat for the remainder of the afternoon. She expected, during those long hours, for the men to return for her, but they did not. Little Bee, from the opening in the...

(The entire section is 516 words.)