The Beekeeper of Aleppo
When I first saw The Beekeeper of Aleppo on Instagram I immediately added to my wish list and I rushed out to buy it on publication day.
I read it in a couple of days and I loved it. It is a beautiful and compassionate tale of a husband and wife who have suffered the most unimaginable loss and their epic journey to find a peaceful life and a way back to each other.
Nuri is a beekeeper and his wife Afra is an artist. Their life in Aleppo is simple and happy until all is destroyed by war. They lose friends and family and when it becomes too dangerous to stay they have to find the courage to leave.
There is a slight dreamlike feeling to this book, it is so beautifully written. The transitions between the alternating timelines are seamless allowing you to just sail through. There are some terrible things which happy along their journey which make for an eye opening and thought provoking read.
In 2016, Christy Leftari volunteered at a refugee centre in Athens. It was from listening to the stories of the people she met there that she became inspired to write this novel. I'm sure it is because of her experiences that Nuri and Afra are both such believable and well thought out characters. While there is a vulnerability about them both, there is also so much strength.
Nuri is particular struck me as remarkable, despite all that had happened to his family he still tried to help others. He's such a strong man but there is also a tenderness to him that is so touching, for some reason, I found the parts when he is holding the bee really moving.
I finished this harrowing and heartbreaking novel with a lump in my throat but with a feeling of hope. Absolutely one that I would recommend.