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The Beekeeper of Aleppo

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  650 ratings  ·  213 reviews
In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

What will you find from his story?

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 destr
Paperback, 378 pages
Published May 6th 2019 by Zaffre (imprint of Allen and Unwin)
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  650 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
“Refugees didn’t just escape a place. They had to escape a thousand memories until they’d put enough time and distance between them and their misery, to wake to a better day.”
― Nadia Hashimi, When the Moon is Low

Nuri was a beekeeper in Aleppo, Syria, his wife Afra an artist - of course this was before the war that was to tear their lives apart, and in which they suffered the most unbearable loss. In addition, this loss left Afra blind. Prior to the war, they’d lived a simple but happy life amon
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
What a thought provoking and haunting piece of fiction, beautifully written and the reader does get a horrifying glimpse into the refugee and asylum crisis and the challenges and heartbreak families caught up in this nightmare in Syria have trying to flee to safety.

This is the story of Nuri, a beekeeper and his artist wife Afra and their Journey to safety in England after the situation deteriorates in Aleppo and the sacrifices they make in order to reach family and friends in England. If you are
Dean the Bibliophage
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is astonishing, mesmerising, absorbing, overwhelming, heartbreaking, moving, poignant, exceptional. Christy Lefteri has produced a quite incredible work of fiction that extends beyond television news and what is printed in the papers: giving a voice to the men, women and children living amongst the Syrian conflict; humanising the suffering, misery and despair of refugees through excellent storytelling and characterisation; and opening our eyes to the dark reality of war o ...more
Sue Frances
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Review to follow nearer publication day.
Helen (TBC)
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 - 5 stars

Haunting, topical and Important
Before the troubles Nuri and his Wife had a wonderful life, simple but rich in the best of ways; Nuri was a bee keeper, his wife was an artist and his young son was a child who loved to play and read and make up stories. Then the bombs hit, ISIS take over and in fear for their lives they flee to be with his cousin and business partner in Britain.

The book is beautifully written and the plot weaves between their arrival in Britain to be processed for a
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being someone who is drawn towards stories on war and immigrants, I have suffered a lot of heartbreaks. I have read about the pain of leaving everything behind (including loved ones), the devastation that war brings, the loss of family and friends and the migration to a new place amidst countless hardships. But let me say this out loud, I wasn't prepared for this. 'The Beekeeper of Aleppo' might not qualify as an intense book but the emotions that I have felt while reading Nuri and Afra's story ...more
Alayne Emmett
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it had wonderful descriptions which brought alive the characters and the places which we unfortunately have seen on the media.
The description of the refugee camps were amazing and also very accurate from reports we have read about.
This was an easy book to read with short chapters so you raced through it very quickly.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haunting novel set on the refugee route across EUROPE

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is said to be one of the books to really look out for in 2019. It is easy to see why. It is a haunting and emotional story of one refugee family’s journey from Aleppo in Syria to the UK.

The book opens with Nuri and his wife, Afra, in bed and breakfast accommodation on the South Coast of England. We know they have made the journey safely as they wait for their asylum claim to be processed. We then switch back to the star
Mike Sumner
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Nuri and Afra Ibrahim. A beekeeper and an artist. Gentle folk who live in the beautiful city of Aleppo. Nuri and his cousin Mustafa have a thriving business harvesting honey from a multitude of bee colonies. Until the devastating day when someone burned and destroyed their hives, bees left dead on the ground. As war spreads in Syria, Aleppo burns. Tragedies beset both families, children killed in the bombing. Mustafa and his wife Dahab flee. Nuri knows he must too, but his wife ha
TheBeekeeper of Aleppo

Visit the locations in the novel

Nuri and Afra live in Syria and have a lovely normal life until war breaks out. Nuri is a beekeeper, Afra an artist, and they live with their son Sami in the east of the city. Bombs rain down on the city and tragedy strikes as their young son is killed in one of the raids.

They have no choice but to escape the country and follow their friends and leave the country. From war-torn Aleppo, through Turkey and Greece, they eventually make it to London where they claim
Karen Whittard
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot even begin to imagine what these poor people have gone through. It’s not simply enough to escape a place like that. But to leave with all those haunting memories, and heartbreak. Is just unbelievable. The strength that these people have is just remarkable. Such brave and strong people. I think that everyone should read this book. Especially the people opposed to any refugees. Because if they can just walk a mile through these peoples lives even if it is just through the pages of the boo ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realistic version of what it is like to live as a refugee and strive to make their way to Europe. It is a heart moving tale of obstacles and hardships, faith and hope. Capturing the daily struggles of dealing with being displaced and trying to find his own place in the world, Nuri becomes a beekeeper. More than anything, I think this book helped with connect with Nuri... his struggles to find his new place in the world and care for his wife who is now blind.

Well written character in Nuri..would
Jill Dobbe
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sad and beautiful read that carried me along on the emotional and harrowing journey of a Syrian beekeeper and his wife who lost everything in the war. This book is filled with the reality of loss and despair, but it is also a story of friendship, hope and love.

The author writes from her own experiences working with Syrian refugees in Athens, Greece. She heard their stories and felt their sorrows and losses in her heart, resulting in this genuine account. Lefteri is gifted in writing with passi
Susan Hampson
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is an extremely moving story about ordinary people being caught up and emotionally destroyed in the consequences of war. Set in both Syria and the UK it is one family’s story that overlaps with other families and friends that have experienced similar devastation.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is Nuri who was in partnership with his cousin Mustafa, they lived quite an idyllic peaceful life at one with nature. Afra, Nuri’s wife was an artist and they had a small son Sami. When war came it was brutal
Fern Adams
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The Beekeeper of Aleppo follows the story of husband and wife Nuri and Afra who worked as a beekeeper and an artist in Aleppo, Syria before war forced them to leave the city and become refugees as they are smuggled into Europe.

This novel while filled with loss, despair and war is beautifully written. There are sentences throughout which from a literature point of view really stand out. The plot too is haunting and heartbreaking at times. This is a story that needs telling. Definitely a book tha
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a beautiful, haunting novel that captivated me for two days as I made my way from Wellington to Napier in New Zealand. As I read it, I couldn't help but be conscious of how privileged I am. My entry to New Zealand from Australia was merely a matter of producing my passport, (and I have two that I can choose from), and my journey by rail and road was simply a matter of buying tickets and arriving at my destination safe and sound. For the central characters in this compe ...more
Lel Budge
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a hauntingly beautiful story.

It’s the tale of Nuri, Afra and their son, Sammi who live in the city of Aleppo in Syria

The horrendous war breaks out and when a young man dies, they are encouraged to leave Aleppo and travel to England. Afra won’t leave, as this is her home, but tragedy strikes when a bomb drops close to their home.

This is their story of their journey from a devastated home to England...heartbreaking and harrowing, but also story of love and hope. This will stay with me for a
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nuri and his wife, Afra, escape war torn Syria. They make their way through Turkey and Greece in hopes of ultimately gaining asylum in England.

We experience Nuri and Afra’s journey through Nuri’s eyes. The trauma and chaos of war and the way it affects his mental state. We meet other refugees along the way and are privy to some very unsavory situations and in the refugee camps. Nuri learns how far these situations will push a human being. The struggle to gain asylum and the powerlessness one fe
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing / Ballentine Books for this arc.

This was a heart-achingly slow read for me, but yet a WONDERFUL read.

This is the story of Nuri and Afra, Syrian refugees / asylum seekers. Their losses were total and unimaginable. Their journey to England horrific. The physical, emotional and mental deprecations were near total. And yet, the found the determination to struggle on and complete their journey.

Just gut-wrenching and well worth the hours and hours it to
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written and very moving story of Nuri and Afra, a married couple who flee the horrors of war-torn Syria and become refugees in Europe. The mental trauma they’d suffered combined with their fear and uncertainty of the future made a compelling story. Their experiences in camps in Athens was interesting to read about. Although a work of fiction, the author’s personal involvement in these situations definitely gives credibility to the story. I did feel there was a loss of impact becaus ...more
Stacey Bene
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from Ballantine Books and I could not be happier that it crossed my path. While this book was about Syrian refugees fleeing war, it focused more on the relationships of those living with loss and uncertainty. The author didn’t sugarcoat what the fleeing couple experienced on their journey, which I think made the story seem very legitimate.

I have volunteered with refugees in Cleveland, Ohio. These were the lucky ones who made it to safety. They were at the end of th
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
This is a fabulous book. It tells the story of Nuri and Afra who eventually leave Aleppo in Syria and attempt the journey to the UK to meet their cousin Mustafa. They have lost everything, their home, their work, their son and Afra has even lost her sight. Yet they don't really want to go. They want to stay in their familiar place, their home town. But when Nuri is threatened by terrorists, they no longer have a choice. They must leave.

The book mostly details their journey. It skips between past
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nuri and Afra are Syrian refugees. They had a beautiful life, Nuri a beekeeper, Afra an artist, with their son Sami – before the atrocities commenced. Following the death of Sami in a bomb attack, and with Afra blind, they eventually decide to follow their friends and leave the country.

This is the story of their journey, from war-torn Aleppo, through Greece, eventually making it to London where they make their claim for asylum.

A sad yet beautifully crafted story, with characters to be cared abou
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a mesmerising and a difficult book to read and review. Very thought provoking, it had me well up many times. A very powerful read about refugees escaping their homelands and trying to hold on to hope for a better life.

This book is about Nuri and Afra, who are gentle and content folk who live in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo. Nuri, in partnership with his cousin Mustafa, runs a thriving bee harvesting business, until the day Aleppo burns and some vandals set fire to their hives. Th
Annie Long
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've worked to cultivate an open mind all my life. This author enable me to expand to a new level. It's a perfect exercise in the instructions to his daughter, Scout from Atticus Finch. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

When I received the ARC of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, I was out of books and due to the library, so I began reading it right away. I was immediately gripped and then fascinat
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
This book is everything that a modern day work of literature should be. Lefteri has used a heartbreaking time in history to give us this amazing novel; today, the present. Nuri was a beekeeper in Aleppo, but the tragedy of Syria's civil war has led him and his wife Afra to flee, there is nothing but heartache in Aleppo and Syria, but their journey is long and fraught with peril and the things that today's society turns its eyes from, refugee camps and the situations of the countries that lead to ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Moving and thought-provoking are the first words that come to mind after finishing this novel. Set in Syria and the UK in alternating chapters of before and after, is a story of ordinary people experiencing extraordinary times. Before the war that tore their lives apart, Nuri was a beekeeper in Aleppo, Syria, and his wife Afra an artist - of course this was before their normal everyday life became a fight for survial and we then follow their harrowing journey to a new life. I will remember this ...more
Tina Panik
Lefteri crafts this heartbreaking story with care, evoking empathy and compassion from every page.

This was an ARC from Book Expo NYC.
Rosie Collinson
This is a beautifully written book I finished over the bank holiday weekend that delivers loss and hope in equal measures.
It follows the journey Afra and Nuri as they escape war torn Aleppo and hope for a future in England, it’s represents their struggle but doesn’t lay in it, it instead shows the endurance of the characters and the people who just want to find a place of physical and emotional peace.
It’s really touching and I would highly recommend it.
Eve K
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Emotional leftist propaganda. Go away.
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Christy Lefteri was born in London in 1980 to Greek Cypriot parents who moved to London in 1974 during the Turkish invasion. She completed a degree in English and a Masters in creative writing at Brunel University. She taught English to foreign students and then became a secondary school teacher before leaving to pursue a PhD and to write. She is also studying to become a psychotherapist.