The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri
It’s my stop on the “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” blog tour! Thanks very much to Compulsive Readers, Zaffre and author Christy Lefteri who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads and head over to the author’s Twitter page. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll find the book on Kindle and paperback on Amazon UK.
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.
There’s been a lot of buzz around this book recently and I’m glad to say that I’m here to add to it. I really enjoyed the story of ‘The Beekeeper in Aleppo’, an eye opening, topical tale of a Syrian couple’s journey to the UK to seek asylum.
Nuri is the main character in this story, supported by his wife Afra, blinded by an explosion in the city she is now fleeing. In present day, Nuri and Afra are on the Kent coast, dealing with the paperwork and bureaucracy of the asylum process. Their journey to the UK is told through a series of vivid flashbacks.
“She looked into my eyes, as if she could see me. In that moment I could see her too, the woman inside, the woman I’d lost. She was there with me, her soul open and present and clear as light. For those few seconds I was no longer afraid of the journey, of the road ahead.”
This isn’t a war story as such, but instead one about the mental and physical impact that it can have on people. The writing is powerfully descriptive, the story is tragic yet heart warming and the characters are captivating too. I really enjoyed this book and I flew through the pages in a matter of days.
While this story is fictional, the author is writing from her own experience, having worked as a volunteer in a refugee centre in Athens. She’s seen what it’s like in camps like the one Nuri and Afra stay in and as a daughter of refugees I’m sure her own family’s stories feature in this book too. It’s awful to think that some of the terrible things that happened in this book are real. This is a topical subject, these things are happening right now and it’s not often that we ever really think about them. ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ is an important read if only just to open your eyes and make you think.
Overall rating: ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ is a beautifully written story of survival. Following the journey of husband and wife Nuri and Afra from Syria to the UK, this is a heart warming, informative read that I would highly recommend – 5 stars!
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if this sounds like your kind of book, support the author by picking up a copy on Amazon UK or in your local bookshop.