The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a historical fiction novel that follows a Syrian refugee couple’s journey as they leave home & travel to the UK. Here is my review.
Why I read The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Do you have anyone in your life that shares a very specific common interest with you? For me, it’s reading and it’s with my sister-in-law. (The jury’s still out, but she may even love to read more that I do. Gasp!) She’s the kind of reader that loves to read so much that she doesn’t set a reading goal, doesn’t have a reading journal, and only has a GoodReads account because I forced her to. (No, she never updates it.) She reads so much that she sometimes can’t remember if she’s read a book or not.
Now, I love reading, but I also enjoy other hobbies like collecting books, organizing books, keeping track of which books I’ve read and which ones I’d like to, taking pictures of books, and talking about books. Not to mention all the other bookish hobbies I have like drinking tea, doing puzzles, and frequenting the library. Anyone else??
Not my sister-in-law. It’s just about reading. And you know what?? Because she focuses so much on the books themselves, she’s got great taste in books! She recommended one of my favorite series of all time, The Lowlands of Scotland series by Liz Curtis Higgs. And she recommended The Beekeeper of Aleppo as well.
One thing is true about the books that she recommends – the writing is always top notch. She doesn’t go for cheesy or choppy, it must be a high quality read. And this book was no exception. The Beekeeper of Aleppo may not have been my favorite story to read, but the writing was very well done and the journey the characters traveled was painted very vividly. So thanks, sis!
What is The Beekeeper of Aleppo about?
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a novel that tells the story of Nuri and his wife, Afra, as they journey from their homeland in beautiful Syria to the UK as refugees. Nuri & his long time friend, Mohammed were beekeepers and loved everything about the apiary world. Nuri was a gifted painter who recently lost her sight after their son was killed in the attacks.
The story unfolds from Nuri’s viewpoint, but jumps between present time and their journey out of Syria, with a few flashbacks as well. A handful of supporting characters make appearances along the way to help illustrate the perils of grief, suffering, and hardship that the couple faces along the way.
Christy Lefteri uses different symbolism and themes throughout the story to help inspire a belief in the human spirit and encourage overcoming hardship and circumstance to create a life worth living.
The author also includes several bonus sections such as a reader’s guide, discussion questions, an interview she did, a map of the area, photographs, and even an excerpt from another one of her novels.
What I loved about it
There are beautiful displays of courage, healing, grief, love, and support along the way. Character development was fitting and helped to tell the story of what a refugee may go through on their long journey away from home.
Where it lost me
The book is very well written, but the story started out a little confusing to me and took me several chapters to get my bearings as to what was going on. Because it’s a shorter read (just over 300 pages) there wasn’t a whole lot of time to sink in and really get to know the characters. By the end of the book, I still had many questions as to who Nuri and Afra really were.
My rating of The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Overall, although The Beekeeper of Aleppo was a very well written book, it wasn’t my favorite in terms of style or story. Still a solid 3 stars for quality writing, though.
For this review and many more, plus what I’m reading now, visit me on GoodReads. Thanks so much for checking out the Collective!
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