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Christy Lefteri Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beekeeper of Aleppo (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Songbirds (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Fire (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Christy Lefteri is a historical and literary fiction author from the United Kingdom that is best known for the novel “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” which she published in 2019.

The author was born to Cyprus refugees that moved to the UK in 1974, following the invasion of the island by Turkey. Born in 1980, Lefteri was raised in the British capital London, which is where she has lived most of her life.

In 2010, she published her debut work “A Watermelon, a Fish, and a Bible” but it was her second novel that made her name as an author to watch.

Christy’s 2019 published work would go on to become a winner of the Aspen Words Literary Prize in 2020 and also become a bestselling title in the Sunday Times.

The novel has garnered critical praise from the likes of authors such as Benjamin Zephaniah and Daljit Nagra.

Lefteri currently works at Brunel University, where she teaches creative writing. Previously she was a teacher of English as a Second Language and also worked in Greece volunteering for UNICEF.

Lefteri’s blockbuster work “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” was inspired by the time she spent working as a volunteer at an Athens refugee camp.

While her parents successfully rebuilt their lives in London, she always felt a sense of something dark in their past.

Even though her parents loved her very much and she led a very happy childhood, she always sensed that something unsettling had happened to them. For some reason, she intuitively knew that they left because things were not all good and happy.

During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, her father had been a commanding officer and left soon after the signing of the armistice. He was forced to leave as he did not believe it was safe for him and his wife to be in the country.

As suc,h she always felt a sense of loss but never could put a finger on it until 2016. This is when she visited Cyprus and went to the Eastern shores of the Island overlooking Syria.

Christy realized how lucky she was to be safe and at peace, as compared to the horrors happening in Syria. It was then that she decided to head to Greece and give back by volunteering.

When Christy Lefteri went back to the United Kingdom, she was hoping that the horror of what she had heard and seen would fade with time but it did not. She just could not forget the stories of the families and children who had suffered a lot.

She became desperate to showcase the suffering she saw and put on paper the pain she sometimes saw in her parents’ eyes when she was growing up.

As such, many of her novels and particularly the Beekeeper of Aleppo resonate with her sympathy for Syrian families and children.

It is for this reason that she writes poignant and realistic depictions of families living in exile and how these can cause a lot of pain and trauma.

The novel “A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible” takes its inspiration from the lives of her parents that lived as refugees in England.

On the other hand, her second novel is the story of a married couple forced to flee Syria which was inspired by real accounts of refugees recounted to her while she was volunteering for UNICEF in Athens.

Christy Lefteri’s novel “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” is a beautiful novel about Syrian beekeeper Nuri and his artist wife Afra. They live in Aleppo, a beautiful Syrian city where they are rich in friends and family until everything comes crashing down.

The war destroys everything they care for and they have to flee. However, Afra has seen so many terrible things that they have to go on a perilous journey through Greece and Turkey to start a new and uncertain life in the United Kingdom.

On the way to Europe, Nuri is comforted by knowing that his business partner and cousin Mustafa is waiting for them. He has recently established an apiary and has been training Syrian refugees on how to keep bees in Yorkshire.

As Afra and Nuri travel across a landscape broken by the war, they have to confront not only their own unspeakable loss and pain but a lot of danger.

It is a beautifully written, moving, compassionate, and powerful story that showcases the triumph of the human spirit.

“Songbirds” by Christy Lefteri introduces a poacher named Yiannis. The man makes a living trapping the very small protected songbirds that make a stopover in Cyprus on the way to Europe from Africa.

He usually sells these birds on the black market and hopes to eventually make enough money to get married. He has his eyes set on marrying Nisha who works as a maid and nanny in Cyprus.

She had left her home in Sri Lanka and moved to the Mediterranean island to make money to support the daughter she left behind. But one evening, Nisha steps out of the house to go run an errand and disappears.

The police believe she is just another runaway house help but Petra her employer thinks there is more to it. Petra’s investigations lead her to the many friends Nisha had working as nannies in the neighboring houses.

She gets to learn the darker elements of life as an immigrant and the stark choices that often leave them captive, vulnerable, or worse.

Christy Lefteri writes a deeply empathetic and poignant narrative of the human stories we don’t get to hear about the immigrant experience.

“A Watermelon, a Fish, and a Bible” is set on a sunny and bright morning in 1974 when the Turkish army invaded Kyrenia, a town on the island of Cyprus.

For many residents, this is the end of their idyllic lives but for some, it is a chance for rebirth.

For one young woman who grew up without a mother who had always been an outcast in the community, the invasion presents a chance to share her story.

For one of the soldiers in the invasion forces, it is a search for a woman he believed was his soul mate that had gone missing years back.

For another man far removed from the battlefields, it brings back memories of a child, a woman, and a secret kept for decades.

It is a gut-wrenching and harrowing novel about the suffering of Cypriot women with themes of family, love, identity, and loss.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Christy Lefteri

One Response to “Christy Lefteri”

  1. Lori Gottlieb: 11 months ago

    Dear Ms. Lefteri, It is with the deepest respect and admiration that I write to you. The devastating story of The Beekeeper of Aleppo was so much more than a story of deep loss that war and dislocation creates. You have profoundly made the personal, universal. You have nurtured the deepest empathic sensibilities possible in your readers. Nuri and Afra are embedded in my heart, and they color my thoughts about the capacity for human suffering and recovery, as only a majestic author can do. From my heart I thank you for your art and your ability to touch the soul.
    With deep affection, Lori Gottlieb


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