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The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri




Overview -
This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable.

"A beautifully crafted novel of international significance that has the capacity to have us open our eyes and see."--Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

WINNER OF THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE - FINALIST FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE

Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo--until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.

Nuri is sustained only by the knowledge that waiting for them is his cousin Mustafa, who has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees beekeeping. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss but dangers that would overwhelm even the bravest souls. Above all, they must make the difficult journey back to each other, a path once so familiar yet rendered foreign by the heartache of displacement.

Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten.

Praise for The Beekeeper of Aleppo

"This book dips below the deafening headlines, and tells a true story with subtlety and power."--Esther Freud, author of Mr. Mac and Me

"This compelling tale had me gripped with its compassion, its sensual style, and its onward and lively urge for resolution."--Daljit Nagra, author of British Museum

"This novel speaks to so much that is happening in the world today. It's intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant, but very importantly it is accessible. I'm recommending this book to everyone I care about."--Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Refugee Boy

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More About The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

 
 
 

Overview

This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable.

"A beautifully crafted novel of international significance that has the capacity to have us open our eyes and see."--Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

WINNER OF THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE - FINALIST FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE

Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo--until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.

Nuri is sustained only by the knowledge that waiting for them is his cousin Mustafa, who has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees beekeeping. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss but dangers that would overwhelm even the bravest souls. Above all, they must make the difficult journey back to each other, a path once so familiar yet rendered foreign by the heartache of displacement.

Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten.

Praise for The Beekeeper of Aleppo

"This book dips below the deafening headlines, and tells a true story with subtlety and power."--Esther Freud, author of Mr. Mac and Me

"This compelling tale had me gripped with its compassion, its sensual style, and its onward and lively urge for resolution."--Daljit Nagra, author of British Museum

"This novel speaks to so much that is happening in the world today. It's intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant, but very importantly it is accessible. I'm recommending this book to everyone I care about."--Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Refugee Boy

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781984821218
  • ISBN-10: 1984821210
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Publish Date: August 2019
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Like the beehives he tends, Nuri Ibrahim exists at the mercy of forces larger than he. When war encroaches on him and his wife, Afra, they are forced to leave their lives in Syria behind and become refugees. 

Entrusting themselves to strangers, they journey toward England, where Nuri’s cousin Mustafa waits with his family, but it takes a long time to reunite with Mustafa. Bridging the distance between husband and wife, a rift forged by profound loss, will take just as long. The war has blinded them both: Afra has lost her sight, and Nuri often sees only what he wants to see.

In The Beekeeper of Aleppo, author Christy Lefteri draws from her experiences volunteering with refugees in Athens, Greece, to build a moving examination of how people make sense of who they were and who they have become. Through Syria, Turkey and Greece, Afra and Nuri move and wait while the pull of the past, both its dark tragedy and its former sunlit joy, travels with them. 

Hope is a thread Nuri loses, picks up and loses again. But no matter how bleak the present in which they find themselves, hope surfaces when it is most needed—in dreams, in visions, in emails, in an injured bee, in the blue sky, in memory. Not all memories are shadows; some are full of light.

Lefteri’s writing is observant and fluid, capturing the contours of life and relationships. The degradation Nuri and Afra must bear made me want to look away, but Lefteri’s thoughtful voice always brought me back. In defiance of all they have witnessed and endured, Nuri, Afra and Mustafa struggle mightily to be “people who bring life rather than death.” 

 

BAM Customer Reviews