Book Review: The Beekeeper Of Aleppo By Christy Lefteri
‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ was released in 2019, and was author, Christy Lefteri’s second novel. Although ‘The Beekeeper Of Aleppo’ is not a true story, it was heavily inspired by her own experiences over two summers in Athens, where she aided refugees seeking asylum. The influence of anecdotes she would have been privy to added gravitas to the novel.
This piece of gripping, evocative literary fiction kept me at the edge of my seat throughout. I absolutely devoured the novel.
It takes place across two timelines that eventually align at the end of the book, telling the stories of Nuri and his wife, Afra, amidst their voyage to claim asylum in the United Kingdom, and upon their arrival as they await their asylum interviews.
There is a power in Lefteri’s storytelling, she is able to foreshadow the future revelations in glimpses, glances of the trauma Nuri and Afra have experienced, what they are willing to say, and the information they keep to themselves, despite the heartbreak and the trauma they have experienced in leaving their home in Aleppo, they seek to find and know each other again. This is a compelling device and is masterfully wielded by Lefteri, leaving me questioning everything I had read previously, attempting to recall any details that had previously stuck out to me and the ones that hadn’t until that moment.
The second I finished the novel, I thrust it into someone else’s hands, so they could read it and feel that same awe as I had done over the way Lefteri blurred the lines between past and present, reality and memory with such skill you wouldn’t doubt a word for a minute.
I loved this book, it was a tear-jerking story of the most visceral kinds of loss, loss of home, loss of family, of sight, of self. It was poignant and resonated with me greatly. I couldn’t recommend it enough!