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The Beekeeper of Aleppo
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The Beekeeper of Aleppo > Chapters 1 - Aleppo

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Jennifer Jenkinson (jenniferjenkinson) | 414 comments Mod
Let's discuss! To avoid spoilers, please only discuss the chapters listed in this topic. Happy reading!


Aimee Dars (aimeedars) | 6 comments This is so beautifully written! I decided not to underline my favorite passages because I would have more marked up than not! I think how the author segues into flashback chapters is interesting.

I was surprised that Nuri was willing to stay in Aleppo so long. Afra's insistence on staying seemed tied to grief and depression.

In the hiding space, facing death, what do you think made Afra have a change of heart?


message 3: by Bee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bee | 2 comments I agree, Aimee. The writing is stunning. I was reading some of the passages out to my husband, particularly the description of Agra on pages 20 and 21 (kindle edition).

I also love the structure of the chapters. It threw me off at first. When I came to the first break in the middle of a sentence, I thought something was wrong with my copy, but once I figured it out, I liked how the past broke into the present. I think it’s the best written representation I’ve seen of that stream of consciousness experience of something triggering a memory.


Aimee Dars (aimeedars) | 6 comments Bee wrote: "I agree, Aimee. The writing is stunning. I was reading some of the passages out to my husband, particularly the description of Agra on pages 20 and 21 (kindle edition).

I also love the structure ..."


I had the same reaction to the structure, too, and like you thought it was a very clever way to indicate a flashback. My book isn't with me right now, but if I remember correctly, the present time is indicated by numbered chapters and the flashbacks by named chapters.


Sally Durbin | 16 comments I was definitely confused at first about the transition between present day and the flashbacks, but now I definitely like the tie in!

I’m also surprised Afra waited so long to finally agree to leave. It makes you wonder if she really recognized the reality of the situation, despite what she’s already lost.


Aimee Dars (aimeedars) | 6 comments Sally wrote: "I was definitely confused at first about the transition between present day and the flashbacks, but now I definitely like the tie in!

I’m also surprised Afra waited so long to finally agree to le..."


It will be interesting to find out how she became blind. It does seem that her literal blindness is linked to a figurative unwillingness to see the reality of Aleppo.

Also, because of her (assumed) depression, I think she was passively suicidal until the moment the soldiers actually came to their house and then she had an epiphany for whatever reason that she didn't want to die.


Morgan (bookedinthebayou) | 2 comments Hi friends! So this phenomenon of blindness through trauma is a documented medical condition that has occurred in many, many displaced communities. If you're interested in learning more, you can Google PTSD and blindness or conversion disorder. I won't link here for folks who may be sensitive to such things.


Becca | 14 comments This would certainly be one explanation, Morgan. But didn't Nuri mention somewhere that "they blinded her"? I mean, this could still be figurative... or not. After all, there have been cruel deeds like blinding people used in many wars...

It certainly is a powerful read this far. The writing is flowing easily but the content is hard to take... there were the beautiful parts of course but I also held my breath several times. One of the hardest bits - other than the children's death - for me was when Afra and Nuri refrained from loving each other because 'what they love will be taken away'. There's hardly anything else left but their love and they do not dare to turn to each other? Can the world be any crueler?

And yes, I, too, thought something was wrong with my copy when I came to the first shift into the past and the sentence was left unfinished. But once I understood the concept I immediately loved it.


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