Author: Christy Lefteri
I’ve seen this book everywhere and I already had a copy as it has been in my TBR for a while now. However, it jumped to the top of my list as I joined a book club from a Facebook group, which weirdly the organizer doesn’t want to have calls to discuss the books, but that’s a story for another day! Anyway, the first read the selected was this amazing book and I am so glad I didn’t wait any longer to read it.
This book narrates the Journey that Nuri, and his wife Afra, go through as conflict forces them to leave their native country Syria and they try to reach the UK for refugee asylum. Their odyssey takes them through Turkey and Greece, but along the way, they face hunting and traumatic experiences. They are both suffering from the horrible things they have seen and experienced, but both of their hearts are strong, so they keep going with undeniable determination.
The narration waves between the present when they are waiting in the UK for their refugee status and the past when the conflicts unveil and everything started for them, and I am amazed at how easily and creatively the author do those shifts. Connecting both experiences with keywords that have a different meaning depending on where they are in their journey, it might be my interpretation, but I loved that detail.
Nuri is a beekeeper that has lost his hives and Afra is an artist that has gone blind. Personally, another aspect I loved about this book is the individual experiences for both of them. They needed to find each other again and remember who they were before war and conflict tried to define them and what they mean to one another.
This book is absolutely heartbreaking, it puts so much context into a conflict that you know is happening, but you probably don’t realize how deep and hunting it is. It helps you understand how the lives of normal people that are trying to work and live their day-to-day lives are forever changed by war.
The story is beautifully written, Lefteri, makes a wonderful job transferring all the emotions to the reader. I found myself crying, smiling and most of all hoping for a happy ending for these two amazing human beings. The story is inspired by real people she met in Greece as a volunteer in refugee camps, which adds a higher level of sentiment to her writing, I can’t praise her and this book enough!
A tragic and vivid read that is very worth it, please give this one a try!