The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Nuri, a beekeeper, his wife Afra, an artist, and their young son Sami live on the outskirts of Aleppo. They are happy there until the war comes to their corner of Syria. Mustafa, Nuri’s best friend, cousin and fellow beekeeper, sends his own wife and daughter away to England to be safe. But after tragedy befalls his family Mustafa too is forced to flee in the middle of the night. Yet Nuri and Afra choose to stay even when the world is being destroyed around them. Then the bomb falls. Now Nuri and a blinded Afra must begin the long, arduous and terrifying journey to seek asylum in the U.K.
The tale is told in two parallel storylines. One is of Nuri and Afra at a B&B for refugees at the seashore in the U.K. and the other follows their time in Aleppo and their journey to the U.K. This is an eye-opening account of the ordeal two individuals endure to get to a place where they think they will feel safe and can reunite with beloved friends. Besides the description of the harrowing journey and what they both physically survive, the author also manages to artfully incorporate the emotional and psychological strain and damage the past year has created and how it manifests in both characters.
This is a must read for anyone attempting to understand the plight of refugees and the challenges they face every step of their journey to the place they hope will bring safety.