Updated: Apr 27, 2021
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
“In the midst of war, he found love. In the midst of darkness, he found courage. In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.
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. 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.”
This is my 2020 summer holiday read and wow, after I'd read it, which took just days it was that good, I couldn't find anything to follow it.
I chose this book because of it being a pick of Richard & Judy's book club (let's be honest, they rarely get it wrong). After all I needed to make a decision quickly as my gate had come up on the screen as boarding. It's not my usual read. I tend to go for psychological thrillers. Something that is going to have a few twists and turns. The type of books that I love to write.
I didn't even rush into reading it when I got to the villa. I was so excited that we were back on our beautiful island with friends we had made from O Stavros, our favourite taverna. I spent the first two days looking at the view, enjoying the sun, spending quality time with my family and a few glasses of Mythos of course.
But when I finally picked it up on day 3, I couldn't put it down. It was amazing. Sensational even. I was completely blown away by the story of Nuri and his wife Afra who had no choice but to leave war-torn Syria to travel across Europe to join their family who had gone on ahead to the UK. The story is so poignant and compelling. It tells of Nuri’s courage and determination in ensuring that he and his blind wife survive and escape the horrors of war.
The writing is so powerful and the story is told brilliantly. Discovering their emotional journey feels so immensely believable. We are told from the outset how their young son had died but I still didn’t expect the details of how he died to be as heartfelt as they were. I don't think any book has had the power to make me cry from happiness and sadness several times over but this novel most certainly did.
The passion that the author places into Nuri and his cousin’s hands of beekeeping is second to none. When I finished the book, it made me consider whether it was the change of career that I had been looking for over the last few years. Fortunately, when I really thought about it, I decided that I was much too impatient and the clear intellect you have to have for nature in order to look after something as previous as bees. But it goes to the core of The Beekeeper of Aleppo and is described so beautifully.
I could read this book over and over again I really loved it that much and it would certainly go up there to one of my most favourite books.
You can buy a copy on the following link:
Review dated: 30.08.2020