I don’t listen to lots of audiobooks. I tend to save them for when I know I have long drive coming up. With a visit down to London and then back up to Buxton a few weeks back, I decided to listen to The Beekeeper of Aleppo. The fact Audible were offering it for free may or may not have influenced my choice...
Either way, I’m glad I picked it. It is a moving and evocative story, capturing the journey of an immigrant couple from Syria to England. Inspired by the author’s experiences working with immigrants in Athens, the story is a powerful insight into the plight of so many.
It’s more than that though. The characters are rich, colourful, with genuine depth. Their path across Europe is brought to life in ways and with nuance that our newspapers fail to capture. It is a beautiful yet heartbreaking story that had me gripped from the first page.
It is a journey, yes, across Europe, but there is also the journey Nuri and and his wife, Afra, go on with each other, losing each other, and trying to find their way back.
Here’s the description from the back of the book:
In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope
What will you find from his story?
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all - and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face - they must journey to find each other again.
Moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.
It’s well worth a read.