ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christy Lefteri was born in 1980 in London to Cypriot Refugees. Her parents moved to London in 1974 during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Creative Writing.
Having previously worked as an English teacher, Lefteri is presently pursuing her Ph.D.
Christy penned down The Beekeeper of Aleppo after working as a volunteer for a UNICEF-backed refugee camp in Greece.
SYNOPSIS (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is the story of Nuri. Nuri and his cousin Mustafa had a thriving business of honey. Nuri was responsible for the apiary and was rather content with his life. His wife, Afra, was a painter. Together they had a son, Sami.
After a bomb blast, where Sami is killed and Afra loses her vision, Nuri convinces Afra to leave Syria. As the civil war wreaks more havoc in the country, Mustafa is ultimately forced to flee to England to be with his wife and daughter. The only thing the families carry with them are the memories of their time in Aleppo.
The book follows two timelines. One describes the life of Nuri and Afra in England, where they prepare to seek asylum as refugees. The other one is their journey from Syria to London via multiple refugee camps.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a story of loss and grief, but at same time of hope and perseverance.
To her credit, Lefteri has painted a vivid picture of the refugee camps in Turkey and Greece. The Beekeeper of Aleppo is not just the story of Nuri, but also the story of the millions of refugees presently strewn across the globe. This is the story of people who were leading happy, successful lives before civil wars displaced them. This is the story of children losing their parents and parents losing their children to the horrors of war, of unsafe journeys to “safer” countries, and of hunger.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is one of those books that can change a person’s outlook on the world. Even the most unfeeling readers feel the protagonists’ pain, and that is completely down to the author’s genius. Her writing is almost poetic, yet unbelievably easy to understand and relate to. She beautiful encapsulates not just the physical hardships faced by the main characters, but also the mental suffering they have to endure. Probably the best thing about the book is how it is remarkably devoid of darkness despite being a story of human misery and helplessness.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO
Nothing, really. In all honesty, this is one of the greatest tales of human fortitude, and any possible flaws are easily overshadowed by its convincing story line.
She said it was a word that was hard to translate; Yuanfen was a mysterious force that causes two lives to cross paths in a meaningful way.
O Allah keep me alive as long as is good for me, and when death is better for me, take me.
People are not like bees. We do not work together; we have no real sense of a greater good – I’ve come to realise this now.
We would highly recommend our readers to give The Beekeeper of Aleppo a try. This is an impactful story that needs and deserved to be read.
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