Author: Christy Lefteri
Genre: General Fiction
Format: Hardcover 384 pages
Release Date: 2 May 2019
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In the midst of war, he found love In the midst of darkness, he found courage In the midst of tragedy, he found hope. The Beekeeper of Aleppo: what will you find from his story?
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.
But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain.
On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.
Moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.
This is a really moving story following husband and wife, Nuri and Afra, as they make the treacherous journey form Syria to the UK in the hopes of starting a better life away from their war torn country.
The story is told from Nuri’s point of view with alternating chapters from the present, where he and Afra are currently staying in a B&B awaiting their immigration interview to seek asylum, with flash back chapters to how they came to be there and the journey they have taken. I really enjoyed how the story was told in this way as it slowly revealed everything that Nuri and Afra had to endure.
For me personally, I would have really liked to have had some deeper insight into Afra’s character, and I would have loved to have read some chapters from her point of view. She seems like such an interesting woman in her own right with her own story to tell but unfortunately we only get to see her through Nuri’s eyes.
The story is one that is very much an eye opener and is very relevant to today’s times. It really made me sit back and think what it would actually be like to not have the comfort and security that I’m so privileged to have and what it must feel like to have everything torn away.
I kind of feel like there needs to be some kind of follow up as I would be really intrigued to see what happens next for Nuri and Afra. Their journey to get to the UK only seems like part of it and what they have to go through next would definitely be something I would be interested in reading.
About the Author
Brought up in London, Christy Lefteri is the child of Cypriot refugees. She is a lecturer in creative writing at Brunel University. The Beekeeper of Aleppo was born out of her time working as a volunteer at a Unicef supported refugee centre in Athens.
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