The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri

August 13, 2020

 

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a readable reminder of the refugee lives being lived all around us, although it’s perhaps not as powerful as it might have been.

 

The book gently tells the story of Nuri Ibrahim and his wife Afra as they journey from Syria to the UK, focussing on the psychological as well as physical trauma they are subject to.

 

I love the insights into life at the camps along the way, as well as the brief, tragic glimpses of how beautiful pre-war Syria must have been. I also appreciate that it neither idolises its protagonist nor goes too heavy on fictional hardships. That said, it has a dreamy, disconnected feel that meant I drifted through the narrative without any of it really affecting me. 

 

Definitely for those who want to peep through their fingers at the refugee crisis, rather than look at it full on. But, perhaps, that is all that we need to nudge us into engaging with the real-life refugee stories being lived out all around us.

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