Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Hey, you! 🐝
The Beekeeper of Aleppo. I'd heard so much about this book, but you know how it is. Too many books, too little time. But thankfully, there's Book Club! 😊
Clearly, there is a before and an after for me. After reading this book, I realized that never will I see a refugee sign in the streets of Metz the same way again.
A heartbreaking before and after of Aleppo
Nuri was a beekeeper in Aleppo married to Afra, an incredible artist and their beautiful boy. They were surrounded by love, friends, and family .... until the war tore their lives apart.
They escaped what was once their home and lost everything they built for themselves. And not just that. Their loss is immeasurable. If this wasn't real, I'd say it was straight out of a sad drama movie, but this is the reality of hundreds or even thousands of people right now. It's gut-wrenching!
It's hard to say that I loved this book because of the nature of the story. But in spite of the heartache, it was beautifully written and the poetic tone prevented it from being dark. So for me, instead of pulling apart in auto-protection mode, I felt myself wanting to lend a hand.
Personally, I left my country by choice because I knew France was part of my future. But Syrian refugees leave because they have absolutely no choice. Given the choice in fact, I'm sure they would give anything to be able to stay and live their life peacefully. Why would you leave the comfort of your home if you had no reason to?
A lot of scenes were very visual to me and you can tell that a lot of this book is inspired by stories that the author must have heard as a volunteer working in refugee camps. This is why a lot of times it felt very non-fiction.
"Sometimes we create such powerful illusions, so that we do not get lost in the darkness."
Beautiful words to describe a reaction to trauma.
Book Cub Questions
What did you think of the writing style?
What do you think of the way the author switched back and forth with the past and the present?
What did you think of the main characters?
What do the bees symbolize in the book?
What is the role of Mohammed in the novel?
Have you read other similar books that deal with refugees?
What horrified you most in this novel?
Why do you think Nuri was having difficulties with physical and emotional contact with his wife?
Which character do you think showed the greatest emotional resilience?
How did you feel about the ending?
Describe the story in one word.
Describe how you felt after finishing the book in one word.