Book Review – The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The book is extraordinary, powerful, thought-provoking and deeply disturbing. I really loved it.

I was initially drawn to the book due to the Aleppo setting, the ancient Syrian settlement being my favourite city that I have ever visited.

Aleppo Citadel, Syria
Aleppo Citadel

It follows Nuri & Afra, a couple fleeing their war torn country to undertake an arduous journey to Western Europe.

Very cleverly the book concurrently follows two streams of their quest that are intertwined alongside each other – the tortuous, dehumanising, soul-destroying migration over land and sea, together with their less dramatic but no less traumatic existence in a shabby English seaside bed & breakfast as they seek asylum and the right to start a new life in the U.K.

Aleppo Souk, Syria
Thriving Aleppo Souk
Damaged Aleppo Souk, Syria
Damaged Aleppo Souk

Christy is the daughter of Cypriot refugees and somebody who worked as a volunteer in an Athenian refugee centre. She compassionately draws on her experiences and the incredible stories she has been told to create the central characters, the people they meet and the dangers and hardships they face.

Most of all it is a story of hope in adversity, of life altering situations and of amazing courage and the belief that despair can once again turn into happiness and companionship.

I urge you to read the book and also catch a film called ‘For Sama’ to begin to understand what millions of innocent people have faced and why they continue to risk everything for a second chance.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is available from Amazon and all the usual retailers.