Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist from the Syrian city of Aleppo, where they live a happy life until the war destroys their world. The loss of their son's life and Afra's eyesight makes for an even more grief-filled and perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.
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.