Book Review – The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

First published, 2019

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This novel was chosen by my book club and I really liked it.

The story follows beekeeper Nuri and his wife Afra on their journey from war-torn Syria, across perilous waters and through dangerous encampments, to the relative safety of Britain.

It took me a couple of chapters to get into the rhythm of the book but once I did, I couldn’t stop reading. I felt the pull of Nuri’s story very strongly and felt sick to my stomach about the suffering he and his wife endured in their homeland, and the shocking things he witnessed in the refugee camp in Athens. I won’t ruin it for you, but it was heartbreaking and evocative.

There is some time-jumping in the novel but it’s put to good use. Ms Lefteri switches from chapter to chapter between the Nuri and Afra’s journey from Syria, to a B&B in Britain, but she does it so well, and the story is so strong, that it is in no way jarring.

One thing which is a personal niggle for me: there are questions for book clubs at the end. I hate that. As much as I appreciate the gesture, we can talk without guidance.

All in all, a really powerful story, beautifully written and with well-drawn characters. Recommended.

Why not? Go shopping.