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The Beekeeper of Aleppo
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The Beekeeper of Aleppo > Final Thoughts & Discussion *spoilers possible*

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Jennifer Jenkinson (jenniferjenkinson) | 414 comments Mod
Let's discuss!

Booksandcoffeepleasemx | 1 comments Already finished this book and loved it.

Katie Leversuch (katieleversuch) | 1 comments I’ve just finished the book. I can’t decide what I thought about it 🧐

I haven’t read a book like it. It is raw, sad and eye-opening. It’s not a comfortable read. I found myself dreading what awful things I was about to read about. I am glad it wasn’t graphic, and that some atrocities were left to the imagination.

There is so much explored in this book - not just their journey from Syria to England, but the PTSD, the effect the death of their son had on them, and the role family has. This is not a light-hearted book, but a good one!

I didn’t love this book, but it kept me hooked. It opened my eyes and has left me with lots to think about.

Morgan (bookedinthebayou) | 2 comments I really struggled with this book.

I wanted to love it, especially because this book reflects the type of work I am involved it, but it just didn't do it for me. I didn't feel connected to the characters and it almost seemed like the author was distancing herself from the most emotionally explosive moments. During every intense moment, her sentences got shorter and the descriptions just faded away.

To me, her author's note was the most powerful part of the novel, aside from the realization that the boy who had been following them was not real.

Maybe I need to read it again, because most people seem to absolutely love it!

Jillian (jill1121) | 2 comments Morgan, I can definitely relate to what you said! I didn’t feel a strong connection to many of the characters besides Nuri and Afra. There seemed to be a lot of other characters too not mentioned a lot.

I had a hard time reading this book. It was sad and unsettling, but I also found it hard to follow and got confused quite a bit. I got the general gist of the story but wish it had been told a little different. Some parts were really beautiful though.

It took me a long time to read this (just finished) and I kind of delayed coming to the group to discuss the book.

I’m glad someone wrote this and that I was able to learn more about something I normally wouldn’t think a lot about.

Jennifer Jenkinson (jenniferjenkinson) | 414 comments Mod
I struggled with this book as well. This month has been a hard one for our family and for the first time, I had a few books that made my state of mind worse. Reading is usually an escape for me but when dealing with some PTSD-like issues (my husband had an accident in our home) of my own, this book was really tough to connect with. NOT that my situation was even close to half as awful as the family in the book, I just felt detached and this happened with another book as well.

I found the writing beautiful and this book is definitely going on my shelf to perhaps read again when I'm in a better place. If anything, I learned just how powerful books are and I am glad I read this one. I am also glad that so many people have loved this book - the author tells a powerful story about a situation that more need to know about.

Katy Cameron | 8 comments I actually listened to this book on my way to a holiday cottage in Connemara, and I think the audio book perhaps hides the fact that the way it is written has sentences that don't end or shorter sentences at times. It flowed beautifully when read, although the narrator did have a rather lulling voice that had I been at home I might have dozed off listening to!

Having realised the dates from the e-mails I understood a lot about how the journeys became more difficult, and how, having left it very late, Nuri and Afra would have experienced the issue of the locked down borders that came in during early 2016 as EU countries tried to double down on Dublin III to avoid having to take anyone in (because of course, a bankrupt country, as Greece was, was just perfectly placed to look after them all...) I'm still ashamed of how our countries behaved.

I'm not sure if 'enjoyed' is the right word to describe my feelings towards this book. I thought it beautifully written and I felt empathy for the characters, understanding when Nuri was obviously starting to unravel, and suspecting the hysterical blindness/conversion disorder diagnosis for Afra long before she officially got it. It's good when books give you cause to take a long, hard look at your own life and privilege, and this book certainly did that.

Aimee Dars (aimeedars) | 6 comments I thought the book's writing was lovely, and I think I was especially moved with the descriptions of the city as it was but wouldn't be again as well as the general condition of refugees (e.g., lack of resources, prejudice, language barriers, etc.).

Because I suspected Mohammed was imaginary, a coping mechanism for Nuri, the revelation didn't have as much impact on me as if it had been a surprise.

I didn't think it at the time but I might have been feeling that the book was sanitized because I kept thinking of other books that had more graphic and perhaps more realistic depictions of the crossing, though the park in Athens was pretty terrible.

There was some discussion of the fact that their money made it easier for them to reach England, but I was hoping for more revelations about the role of money and privilege.

I feel slightly mystified by Afra and Nuri's relationship. She seems so forgiving and patient. I'm not sure I would be in a similar situation. I wondered if it might be related to her perceived dependence or their shared history, including memories of Sami.

William Stanger (wcs53) | 28 comments This book was great, even if at times it was difficult to read (because of some of the situations depicted). It gave me much to think of, as I have connected with a few refugee families from Syria through my work. It gave me a clearer picture of what they may have gone through to get to where they are now. I can’t imagine having to leave a place I love under such circumstances, with no guarantee of getting safely to where I want to go, or with little hope of returning.

What was going on with Nuri (with Mohammed) didn’t dawn on me until nearer the end of the book. The way the author depicted this was really well written.

I’d love to read this again sometime, but I had to return it to the library, which is why I never got round to entering the other discussions.

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