#BookReview: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri @christy_lefteri @ZaffreBooks
Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from an author new to me, Christy Lefteri, with a heartbreaking novel about refugees fleeing Syria. I will, for sure, be reading more by this outstanding author. Here’s my review >>>
About the Book:
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.
An Incredibly Moving Story of Endurance, Survival, and Triumph
‘I AM SCARED OF MY WIFE’S eyes. She can’t see out and no one can see in.’ … from this powerful and haunting opening line, we live and breathe with Nuri as he and his wife, Afra, embark on a terrible journey, both outwardly and inwardly. The book switches back and forth from a B & B in the south east of England and Aleppo, then various places on this courageous husband and wife’s journey as refugees fleeing the horrors of Syria.
While this is a difficult read at times, it is also beautiful and inspiring. A must read that will stay with me for a long time to come. The book deals with painful issues such as the loss of a child and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, amongst other things. It does so sensitively and balances this with moments of quiet joy and hope, as well as the power of friendship and the kindness of strangers. The writing is superb, and here are some lines which stood out for me …
‘The painting, and its measly river, reminds me of struggling to stay alive.’
‘… the lust and greed that crackled through his phlegm when he spoke, almost hidden, but not quite.’
‘I move back so that I can look at her – sadness and memories, love and loss, blooming from her eyes. I kiss her tears, I taste them, I swallow them. I take in everything that she can see.’
The writing is so moving and beautiful, I struggled to choose just a few pull quotes to share with you. Christy Lefteri did such a fantastic job, I believed I was listening to Nuri tell his tale rather than reading a book written by a female author. I cannot recommend The Beekeeper of Aleppo or Christy Lefteri highly enough. Go and read this book! As you may have guessed, this gets a resounding 5 stars from me, and I would give it 10 stars if I could.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂