Date finished: April 27, 2019

Rating: ★★★★

The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Christy Lefteri

A beautiful refugee story of hardship, grief, loss, and determination, The Beekeeper of Aleppo reminds us that a little humanity can go a long way.

Born from Lefteri’s experience working at a refugee center in Athens, the story centers around the journey of Nuri and Afra Ibrahim, a married couple fleeing war and oppression in Syria in hopes of reaching the UK.

Lefteri pens a story reminiscent of Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and you can’t help but be pulled into the fear and grief of the young couple. Before they can leave Syria, tragedy strikes, and Nuri and Afra are left with a grief they could never have imagined — which shapes their journey out of Aleppo in heartrending ways.

My only complaint with this story is that it centers around the first-person narration of Nuri Ibrahim, but much of the plot takes place after he’s left his blind wife (either in their boarding room, on a blanket in the middle of a park, or at their home in Aleppo) alone to fend for herself while he walks around thinking or meeting people. Afra can hardly dress herself, and Nuri’s continued indifference toward his wife’s care really bothered me. I would have loved for this story to be from her perspective, or even a few chapters sprinkled in that told us more than Nuri’s perspective.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story, and my heart ached for Nuri and Afra. A perfect read for fans of The Kite Runner.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffre for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Photo courtesy @funfoodnfiction (Instagram)

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