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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for Audiobook of the Year - The British Book Awards 2020  

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.

In the midst of war, he found love.   

In the midst of darkness, he found courage.

In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.

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. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.    

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.

©2019 Christy Lefteri (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

Critic Reviews

"This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes." (Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz)

What listeners say about The Beekeeper of Aleppo

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A Beautiful Story

The entire book was just amazing, so detailed, so very real, you feel every heartache and every joy.

2 people found this helpful

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Heartfelt story

A wonderfull telling of the hardships refugees experience in their search for a peaceful existence. Poetic and illuminating. I particularly enjoyed Art Malik’s reading of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • sue
  • 23-07-2020

Captivating!

This is a beautiful book and perfectly read by Art Malik. Christy Lefteri is explicit about the horrors that drive a person to flee their country and then life as a refugee without being gratuitous. Through out the book there is hope.
It is a stark reminder of what is happening in the world and at the same time a story of love and courage. It’s marvelous.

1 person found this helpful

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A vivid portrayal of the devastation of war and the triumph of love and friendship

This could have been a novel that left you feeling quite hopeless and distressed about the plight of refugees and what they endure, but the characters are so complex, and some show such compassion and acts of kindness (in spite of their treatment) that its a truly uplifting novel. Nuri and Afra exist in a world that is so foreign yet the detail of their existence draws us into their mental and physical landscape they inhabit on their journey to freedom. It’s a sad and tender story about loss, love and belonging,and the author’s work as a volunteer in refugee camps means that she has honoured the refugees with a truly beautiful novel that reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity for love.

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A wonderful story of grace and delicacy in the midst of war.

I loved Lefteri’s poetic writing style! She portrayed the main characters with love and sympathy and allowed the reader to care about them and to be immersed in their past, present and hopes for the future!!
Highly recommended!

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Amazing Insight

A wonderful insight into the tragedy and displacement of peoples fleeing wars and the dangers they encounter in their journey toward hope . Beautifully narrated I really felt that I knew Noori and Afra and Mustafa , and could just as easily visualise all the other characters and people they encountered along the journey . Many with their own tragic stories , others who would prey on the vulnerability of the refugees . Christy’s further insight at the end of the story and her reasons for writing the book were wonderful. I volunteer teaching English to refugee women from Syria, Afghanistan and parts of Africa and similarly hear stories from time to time of their experiences, but the storytelling here is so powerful I congratulate Christy on being able to direct her experiences into such a fine novel and to also allow it to be shared by such a great narration .

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Brilliant

Beautifully written, though affronting portrayal of a Syrian refugee's meandering journey. A fabulous insight into a world we ignore.

Art Malik masterfully brings the words to life. Wonderful.

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excellent read!!

Loved this book. So hard to put down. thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definitely recommend it.

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A journey worth pursuing

Amazing reading by Art Malik brought this story to life.

Although a work of fiction, this story is based around the horrors endured by refugees the author assisted whilst volunteering in Greece. I felt I was on the journey with Nori and his wife and felt their pain as they were forced to flee their beloved home.

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Highly recommend!

This book will stay with me for a long time. It was heartbreaking and has opened my eyes to the pain refugees suffer. Of course I always knew this would be the case but when you have characters you become engrossed in their story and feel like you are there with them. I loved hearing about the bees too. Well read by Art and beautifully written Christy!

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  • gerardine lynch
  • 18-02-2020

Tears in the rain

As I walked in storm Denis I was not sure whether it was tears or rain falling down my face. Such horrors amid such beauty, I can never consider refugees in the same way again. Behind each lies a life lost and maybe a little hope.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Belle
  • 25-07-2019

Brilliant

One of the best books I’ve ever listened to, heartbreaking yet hopeful, Christy manages to capture horror in events without being graphic and shows how important kindness and love are, it was really interesting listening to her talk at the end about how the book came about. I thought Art’s reading was perfect as it seemed to evoke an almost deer in the headlights description of their journey without truly understanding what was happening from the protagonist when as I listener you can sense the crash about to happen.
It made me angry at the world for not having open boarders and allowing people to trade in others pain and devastation but didn’t leave me feeling bereft although I cried a lot whilst listening to it.

89 people found this helpful

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  • Claris, Grays, Essex
  • 29-06-2019

Wonderful!

If there was one book that the world needs to read it's this one.
This book was so moving I cried when it was finished. So absorbing. It gave an insight into the terrible world of refugees and how people become asylum seekers.
Art Malik's performance was brilliant. He became Yuri.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Emma
  • 13-08-2019

Beautiful Book

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The story was sad but beautiful. The struggle to not only leave your home and country to fight for survival. To take what you can and hope and pray you make it to a better life. This book was a wonderful hope filled read. 100% recommended.

31 people found this helpful

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  • M Golesworthy
  • 13-08-2019

Five stars aren't enought

Best book I've resd/listen to in years. So beautifully written and heartbreakingly sad I think it will stay with me forever.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Seklof
  • 12-08-2019

Fabulous story, beautifully written

I loved this book from start to finish. Heart rendering and beautifully told. and read.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Hattie
  • 20-07-2019

Weeping

This is a very special book and I think everyone should read it to gain an insight into the lives of those forced from homes and family in the deepest distress through no fault of their own. It is a beautifully written book, full of empathy and love and I’m tearful even as I write this. I think Art Malik was moved as he read it because I could hear it in his voice. Thank you Christy for revealing these beautiful people to us. Let us open every gate to show them kindness and grace.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-07-2019

Such a moving story!

Really brought home the plight of refugees, their incredible bravery amid great traumas.
A sensitive reading by Art Malik .

18 people found this helpful

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  • Poppy S
  • 21-09-2019

Profound & moving

Opened my eyes to the suffering of Syrian (& other) immigrants and changed my perception of them in this country

14 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 25-05-2019

Moving, Realistic, Touching...

Moving from the first page. Knowing that it was based on people's real experiences was eye-opening and made every step of this epic journey so realistic with great attention to detail told sympathetically. I have had huge sympathy for these people and all people who have ever had to flee their homeland because of a war they never wanted. The Beekeeper of Aleppo, however, has touched my heart with a great sadness for those who will never be free.
The performance was well suited to the story. Overall five stars for an excellent story.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Greenfly
  • 20-06-2019

Wow, what a book!

Eye's open to the plight of exploited fleeing refugees, extremely haunting & a very dark journey in places. How lucky are we in the UK? As Nuri says"Why does everyone laugh when I say we want to go to England". Very topical & narrator Art Malik superb. Everyone should read this book!

24 people found this helpful

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