Drawing on her experience in the field, Lefteri writes vividly and convincingly about the trials endured by refugees ... The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a relevant, timely book, but impresses most as a compassionate and truthful character study. It’s a remarkable account of the dislocation endured by displaced persons across the world, an important and necessary novel that humanizes the dispossessed who are all too often demonized.
This is a beautiful book, written from the heart in a style that sings to you ... Christy’s novel magnificently captures their lives in Aleppo as lovers, parents, friends and professionals with their everyday joys and regrets ... I found their voices, even in translation, stunningly authentic, with the Moroccan sounding distinctly different from the Syrian ... What Nuri tells us about bees in exquisite, but never overpowering, detail is one of the most delightful parts of the novel ... Only someone like Christy Lefteri, herself the daughter of refugees who had helped the likes of Afra and Nuri, could have written such a book.
Nuri’s fluid narration merges past and present into a patchwork of memory, pain, loss, and hope, his encounters with other refugees solidifying the suffering of individuals into a larger story of the desolation of displacement. With determination laden in sorrow, Nuri and Afra strive to find their way to a new life and back to each other.
...a moving examination of how people make sense of who they were and who they have become ... Lefteri’s writing is observant and fluid, capturing the contours of life and relationships ... Lefteri’s thoughtful voice always brought me back.
...a haunting and resonant story ... Lefteri perceptively and powerfully documents the horrors of the Syrian civil war and the suffering of innocent civilians. Readers will find this deeply affecting for both its psychological intensity and emotional acuity.
We tend to hear refugee stories in the abstract ... But in The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Lefteri gives us a deeply researched, intimate look at the lives of one couple ... But in The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Lefteri gives us a deeply researched, intimate look at the lives of one couple ... Lefteri’s slow-building narrative rarely veers into sentimentality or overwhelming bleakness ... By creating characters with such rich, complex inner lives, Lefteri shows that in order to stretch compassion to millions of people, it helps to begin with one.
... remind[s] us of our capacity for love, empathy and hope ... From the very first page, Christy Lefteri’s book is gripping and poignant ... Lefteri presents readers with a powerful and unflinching look at the refugee crisis and reminds us that we cannot look away any longer ... Lefteri never shies away from an honest description, from dead bodies to snipers and even rape, but she makes it clear that this is only one story, and the world is full of others that are possibly even more horrifying. Regardless of how closely you have followed the refugee crisis, I am sure that all readers will take something new away from this book ... Their love story is the heart of the book, and Lefteri writes it as deftly and gorgeously as she pens even the most devastating war scene ... [Lefteri] writes with the compassion and horror of a person who is seeing the crisis for the first time, and it adds a whole new level of urgency and terror to her beautifully written book. Even when she is describing the absolute worst sides of humanity, Lefteri writes lyrically and poetically, using every word to its fullest extent without wasting a moment of her readers' time ... Haunting, illuminating and exploding with awareness, The Beekeeper of Aleppo represents the greatest gift of fiction: to inspire empathy in all readers.