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I had high expectations for the book but found it very hard to get into. I got bored, kept listening and eventually just returned it.
An excellent non-fiction book to read about Syrian refugees is Butterfly, an autobiography about a teenager’s harrowing journey from Syria to Germany with her sister and without her parents, and she then goes on to be an Olympian. It’s an incredible journey and it actually happened, to her. A very memorable book. I preferred it to this fictional account, although as a novel, this book was well-written.
This is probably the most compelling book I’ve read in a long time. So many conflicting emotions are going through my head. Now, the question is: what do I do about it?...
If you feel there is any value in reading fiction to acquire empathy, this book is for you. This is a a touching refugee story that will put you into another person's life while they struggle to protect the ones they love while being completely powerless.
As I was reading this book, I thought that I would be giving it 5 stars. But the ending simply did not work for me. This author writes beautifully. Her characterization is realistic. The structure of the book is very interesting and tells the story in a unique way.
The topic of this book is thought provoking and is the second in a series of books that I am reading about migration this summer. ( I want to take a month and work in bee fields after reading it.)
I took two stars off of my rating because the book ends abruptly. It is just a little over 300 pages, which seems to be the length that publishers like to publish. Both story lines end suddenly leaving the book feeling unfinished.
What does it mean to see? Nuri and his wife, Afra, flee Syria hoping to immigrate to England. Their son, Sami, was killed in a bombing. Afra lost her sight in the same bombing. As they make their treacherous way to England, the reader discovers how Nuri was impacted by PTSD. Written by a woman who has worked with refugees, Lefteri has used these experiences to create a story that will be both heartbreaking and hopeful, just like the female wingless bee Nuri and a Moroccan refugee, help survive by building her a garden in which she doesn’t have to fly. Lots to discuss if you are in a book club. And at the end, as Afra confronts the trauma and Nuri continues to fight his emotions, she says to Nuri “You think it’s me who can’t see.” Now there’s a discussion starter.
At once, both heartbreaking and hopeful, "The Beekeeper of Aleppo" is told in a lyrical, illustrative voice. The story serves to remind us that the human spirit can find resiliency even in the most dire circumstances...
This is one of the best books I have read in years. A very insightful look into a refugees life and struggles.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is an emotional journey, told through the eyes of Nuri, a lifelong resident of Aleppo, Syria, and professional beekeeper. We follow Nuri’s pre-war/pre-exodus life in Syria, interspersed with the story of his perilous flight from his homeland to Western Europe.
As you can imagine, the tale is fraught with danger and uncertainty. Narrowly escaping conscription by ISIS, and clandestine meetings with smugglers and other characters of an underworld borne of violence and extremism - where having the right paperwork and enough money for bribes can make the difference between life and death -, nighttime sea crossings and overfilled, makeshift camps filled with both fellow refugees and those who would prey upon them.
It’s a harrowing, heartbreaking and - somehow still - hopeful story of a man and his family risking their lives and leaving everything they have to escape to someplace where they have a chance at life.
As jarring and ugly as some of the depictions of life in war-torn Aleppo and the hair-raising near-misses along Nuri’s escape were, the thing that truly wrenched my heart was feeling that he was becoming acclimated (and somewhat numb) to the violence and horrors unfolding around him.
It’s a story that needed telling, and I would absolutely encourage you to listen.
I was provided with an electronic copy of #TheBeekeeperOfAleppo by #NetGalley in return for my honest review.
Sympathetic, introspective, courageous and with a strong sense of place without being overly descriptive. Because of the conflict and war in Syria, Nuri & his wife, Afra, are forced to flee the life they love and try to make their way through Europe to meet friends in England. The author does an excellent job of showing ways grief can fundamentally change you and your relationships with people and the world.