Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
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 the bravest of souls. Above all - and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face - they must journey to find each other again.
I have had this book for so long and I don't know why it took me until now to rad it - what a story!
This is a beautifully written epic tale of bravery, loss and love. The Beekeeper of Aleppo is the modern day escape story that we need. It opens your eyes to the dangers and challenges so many people face around the world today. These life threatening journeys are so far from what many of us could even fathom and most of us probably don’t even realise that they still take place every day.
The illustrative prose is outstanding and you feel fully immersed in the world in which the characters find themselves. From the bombed city of Aleppo, to the parks of Athens, to the fields filled with bees, you are transported from one magical place to the next, whilst experiencing some not so pleasing landscapes.
One thing I found so interesting about this book was that we not only found out more about the situation in Syria and the trials and dangers of the journeys to freedom, but we also get an insight into the difficulties many people face when they finally get to their final destination. The challenge isn’t over and in some ways, has only just begun. So much time, thought and effort has gone into the journey itself, that many don’t know where to go or what to do once they get there.
This book put so much into perspective for me; how lucky I am to never have experienced the need to escape from my motherland, never having to watch a loved one die or be killed and simply having very little to worry about in the grand scheme of things!
I highly recommend this to everyone. It is hugely eye opening, emotional, thought provoking and beautifully descriptive and extremely well written.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
“Inside the person you know, there is a person you do not know.”
Nuri, I thought he was so real and fragile and you really got to experience his emotions with him.