The themes of motherhood, female migration, racism, love and poaching intertwine as in a plea for us to see. The thorough research done for this beautiful novel paid off: I could follow the events and see the characters as if I was there.
Some readers are more sensitive than others and might find the description of birds poaching in Cyprus disturbing. I found the description of the faith of migrant women more disturbing. And sometimes, we need a bit of shaking up in our comfy world we interact with as if we wear white gloves on, while others do the work for us.
“The Beekeeper of Aleppo is about profound loss, but it is also about love and finding light”, Lefteri tells us. This is what she witnessed on the camps in Athens during her time as a volunteer. This is a work of fiction, yet its story line is as real as the lives of millions of refugees of war and famine.
Lefteri’s writing is marvelous, marked by poignant honesty and the lightness of early mornings. I held my breath, I shed tears and I smiled as Lefteri took me on Nuri and Afra’s journey from war-torn Aleppo to England, from the loss of their only son to a reconnection, from murder to overcoming an animal desire to kill, from the loss of a business to a newly found passion for training others to succeed, from blindness to vision, from bottomless sadness to relived giggles of companionship. Books like this are a great reminder not to judge anyone – you never know what the person has been through. We are all migrants on Earth, in a sense or another.
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