By Christy Lefteri, Ballantine Books, paperback, 352 pages
The unforgettable love story of a mother blinded by loss and her husband who insists on their survival as they undertake the Syrian refugee trail to Europe.
Every morning, Nuri the beekeeper rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, his wife Afra, a gifted artist, sells her paintings at the open-air market in the square.
They live simply, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo -- until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey toward an uncertain future in Britain.
Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, this is a story for our times: It reminds us that our lives can be upended instantly -- and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a 2019 novel by Christy Lefteri. It deals with the plight of refugees from Aleppo in Syria to Europe during the Syrian Civil War. While a work of fiction, it is based on the author's experience over two summers volunteering in Athens at a refugee centre.
About the author:
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.