Review of the Beekeeper of Aleppo

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Reviewed by Nivin Khan, 2022.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a beautiful and mind-opening novel about the experiences of Syrian refugees. It follows the story of Nuri, a passionate beekeeper in Syria, who flees his country with his wife, Afra, in the hopes of finding safety in the U.K. and reuniting with his cousin, Mustafa. The story begins at the end of Nuri’s journey, showing his present situation in the U.K. and the slow process he must endure before he and his wife can be granted the opportunity to build a new life for themselves. With brief returns to the present, most of the novel takes readers through Nuri’s rollercoaster ride leading to the present. Readers learn of Nuri’s wonderful life in Syria, complete with a fulfilling job and time spent with many friends and family, before being forever transformed by the Syrian civil war which brings about the tragic death of his only child. Readers are sure to grow close to Nuri and Afra throughout the journey that follows, which is long, difficult, and emotionally draining at every stage. The Beekeeper of Aleppo is special for the way that it takes readers through an entire refugee journey – before, during, and after fleeing – in a beautiful form of storytelling. It realistically shows the difficulty at every stage: the decision to leave home, the problems that arise at each destination, and seeking acceptance in another country. The amazing realism along with the emotional plot twist near the ending make this novel a worthy read.

This novel can be found in the ISU section of Laurier’s Library and Learning Commons.