I have never stayed up late into the night to finish a nonfiction book before, but Helen and her bees has me hooked! The minimal yet poetic attributes prescribed to the friends, locations and actions that intersect with her studies - utterly compelling. The controlled chaos, matriarchy, and environmental significance of a single colony - timely and impactful. Plus, she includes an awesome bibliography that would excite any nature reader!
Given news from Syria in recent years I was hesitant to read this book, not believing that a story about a beekeeper could capture war, loss, and devastation. Once I started reading, the chapters flowed into one another with a pace matched only by the intensity of Nuri and Afrah’s journey as they fled Syria. This book, informed by Lefteri’s refugee volunteer work with UNICEF in Athens, Greece and her own experience as a daughter of Cypriot refugees, makes you stay up late or miss your bus stop (or both!). If we are lucky, our hearts will ache and grow, love and mourn, grieve and be more open than before.