The Beekeeper of Aleppo
2nd May 2019
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is a beautiful, emotional tale of the journey a married couple take from Syria to England after losing everything in the war. The writing in this book is effortless and poignant; I felt like I was in the story and feeling what they were feeling. I love how it handles both the journey and the aftermath, as this is something that I don’t feel I’ve seen before. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is out on 2nd May, 2019 from Zaffre Books.
Nuri and Afra have lost everything they love in their hometown, Aleppo, Syria. They have lost their son, Sami, the bees they keep and Afra has lost her sight, all to war and bombs. When their friend, Mustafa follows his wife and daughter out of Syria, Nuri knows that he must take Afra as well. Their journey will be one which alters them both indefinitely.
At the same time, we read as Nuri and Afra have arrived in London and are staying in a B&B waiting to find out if they’ve been granted asylum. Both are broken and weak in different ways, and will figure out why and how to regain their strength in England.
Why this is a great book…
Honestly, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is stunning because it has everything I wanted and more in it; Lefteri provides the reader with beautiful descriptions of Aleppo before the war, as well as an insight into beekeeping and how they work, which adds another dimension to the narrative. At the same time, she is not afraid to show you the effects of war, including abuses of power, living conditions and the psychological effects it can have.
I loved the characters in this novel; Afra started out as one of my least favourite, but once you understand the horrors she has endured, I can guarantee that she will be your favourite. A close second to her was Angeliki. She was a broken woman, with all the strength and life sucked out of her, and yet she managed to maintain some semblance of hope. Nuri and Mustafa are also great characters, and I believe that Nuri’s tale is difficult to hear, but the telling of it from his perspective was necessary. As it is based on true events, Lefteri has done an excellent job of welcoming readers into the world of a refugee.
Overall, this is a 5* book. I am surprised to say it didn’t make me cry, but only I suppose because I was expecting many of the things that happened. Do not go into this book expecting something light. I would recommend this to people who love war fiction, journeys of survival and hard-hitting subjects. Thank you Bonnier Zaffre for my proof copy of The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri in exchange for an honest review.