Cover Image: The Last Beekeeper

The Last Beekeeper

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. I started reading this book, but could not finish since I know I won’t be able to recommend it to the school or class library. I did not see good Muslim representation. I didn’t understand what temples, saints, and alcohol were doing there. The beginning is slow and the 14 year old character Hassan seems too mature for his age. The poetry and nature theme seem promising, though.
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A coming-of-age story about a teen at a crossroads between following his mind or heart, maintaining culture or expanding dreams, leving for England or staying with his parents in Pakistan.
This debut YA Historical Fiction read was mesmerizing and really grabbed at my heart. It is a story of family, traditions, culture, young love and hopes for the future. Hassan the protagonist in the story will endear your heart to his story. I enjoyed this one.
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Hassan lives in a village in Pakistan. His mum has a failing eye sight and he needs to get special black honey. His dad tries but through circumstances beyond his control he fails but then disappears. 
Hassan is intelligent and wins a scholarship, in Karachi with a man he believes is behind his dad's disappearance.
Whilst in Karachi Hassan meets new friends and he soon discovers the joys of watching bees.
An interesting story on rural beliefs, caste systems and life in Pakistan.
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The Last Beekeeper by Siya Turabi was a  beautifully book  thats set in Pakistan in 1974. This book is a story of a son on a big mission to find to find the black bees and their black honey to cure his mothers blindness, Hassan is almost fourteen is driven and so determined to find them. Hassan meets a girl Maryam, and life changes around him. He has to make some big choices for his future. 

ThIs is a story of big ambition, life choices, family values and knowing what's right. I really enjoyed this book.

A great Summer read.

Big Thank you to the author, Harper Collins, UK, One More Chapter, and NetGalley for the ARC; opinions are mine
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A good read .Set in Pakistan in 1974 it tells the story of Hassan who wins a scholarship to study,but his mother is going blind due to glaucoma and he is determined to get some special honey from the forest to try and save his mothers sight. While staying with the state governor he meets Maryam who wants him to go to London with her to start a new life but as he is in a race against the weather to get the honey to help his mother will he give up his own dreams of a life with Maryam.
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This started a little slow for me in the first chapters, but once they went to the forbidden forest, my attention perked right up. There's a great quote;

"The forest is the greatest teacher. If you can survive here, only then will you understand the world."

Hassan is a dutiful son who wants to save his mother's eyesight. The forbidden forest holds bees who make a black honey reputed to have healing powers. His father takes him there and things don't all go well, but the small amount of honey they come back with proves it will help his mother.

It's an unusual story with a folktale vibe to it. Hassan has a hard choice to make, to pursue his career or to help his mother. It's a captivating tale and well worth a read.
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Hassan is a very endearing, wonderful main character in this beautifully written story. A story of a son's promise to his Mother, politics, love and nature. Loved the inclusion of the story of the last beekeeper and the bees. Follow the story of a son's promise to his Mother.
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The reader will be captivated by this lyrical and unusual novel.  

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own.
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This is an evocative coming of age story set in Pakistan in 1974, a time of political change. The story focuses on Hassan and the choice he has to make between remaining in his home village or taking a chance on a different life, far away.

His mother has glaucoma and is losing her sight. The healing properties of black honey from the forbidden forest may save her eyesight. Hassan's father is a poet and a radical. Hassan loves him but resents the responsibilities his father's lack of duty forces on him.

This is a story about life's choices, nature and nurture and accepting your place in life. The importance of the bees to the whole community is explored with a mystical twist. The pacing is gentle to allow the reader to absorb the setting and the lyrical content.

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent novel from Netgalley, Siya Turabi, and HarperCollins UK - One More Chapter.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.  Siya Turabi writes a clear, clean look into a different age, a different world.  Even tree huggers will find their curiosity grow about the nature of the life of bees, and those not familiar with that world will be awakened to the need to protect these tiny pollinators.

Pakistan, spring of 1984, and we are seeing the world through the eyes and mind of 14-year-old villager Hassan.  His father has disappeared following a fall from a great height, and his mother is quickly going blind from glaucoma.  Hassan is certain that the honey of black bees, very rare, will help his mother.  And he is certain that there is a hive of black bees in the forbidden forest adjoining his village  He and his father had located the hive, but his father was injured while trying to harvest the honey.  He must find it again, despite the scholarship to a school in Karachi.  But the cards are stacked against him - Mir Saab, the man in charge of Harikaya, his village in Harikaya state, Sindh Province, Pakistan has forbidden the villagers to enter the forest in a move to protect the wildlife living there.  Hassad must get back to the village, find the current beekeeper in the forest, find that nest, and harvest the honey for his mother without getting caught.  And he must decide the path to his future - is it in London with the family of his new friend Maryam, or in the forest?  It is a hard decision for a boy so young, he must weigh his options carefully.
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The Last Beekeeper is a lyrical, mystical novel about growing up, making friends and making difficult choices.  It’s set in Pakistan in 1974, a time and place unfamiliar to most of us, and that adds to the fascination you will feel and the hold this story will have over you.  Hassan is just 14, but his life is not simple or easy; it’s complicated.  Village life should be basic, but intrigue and politics surround it.  Hassan’s father is a dreamer, a poet, obsessed with gathering black honey from the forbidden forest to save Hassan’s mother’s sight.  He’s a very interesting character but not a very reliable one.  Hassan’s mother works hard and is afraid to break the law.  She’s more or less resigned to losing her sight.  So when Hassan wins a scholarship to study with the state governor in Karachi she forces him to go.  

From the minute he sets foot in Karachi, Hassan is conflicted.  This is a new world, things he never even imagined.  He doesn’t become part of the governor’s family, but he is included.  And he’s met a girl.  But – his father is not around so it’s up to Hassan to go back to the forbidden forest and get the black honey for his mother.  What will he choose?

The Last Beekeeper is a compelling, satisfying read.  Well-drawn characters and a solid plot, and a very different culture and customs and problems.  Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. For providing an advance copy via NetGalley for my reading pleasure and honest review.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it without hesitation.  All opinions are my own.
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This is the story of Hassan, a teenager growing up in Pakistan. Son of a poet and with a mother who is losing her eyesight, Hassan sets out with his father to find the black honeybees of the forest. This is a dangerous mission as the Mir has outlawed anyone entering the forest and it isn't long before the guards come looking for Hassan's father, throwing Hassan's scholarship provided by the Mir into jeopardy too. Hassan is soon packed off to the Mir's house by his mother and Aunt so that he can begin his study, but all Hassan thinks of is getting back home and finding the black bee honey and healing his mothers eyesight.....that is until he meets the Mir's niece, Maryam, from London.

Honestly, I have struggled to like this book for numerous reasons. I found the story very slow moving and extremely confusing. There were several parts that I had to re-read to understand what was happening. I did not understand how or why Hassan was able to communicate with the bees and how or why he was able to 'visit' the inside of the beehive with the bees - this made no sense to me at all. The characters were two dimensional and I didn't feel any connection to them at all - however, the sense of place and the description of places are beautiful. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an honest review.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

The book is set in Pakistan, 1974: Hassan, needs to save some honey before there’s a change in the weather, making his mother’s eyesight go, and for that he has to find the beekeeper. 

Winning a scholarship to study alongside the state governor in Karachi, he meets Maryam, whose the niece of the governor from London, suddenly he doesn’t know what to do. 

Whilst this is happening, he’s being pulled back to what will happen to his Mother, and a promise he made to the bees. He has a decision to make, Maryam or the beekeeper? Does he stay in Pakistan or go to England, and does he listen to his head or his heart? 

An enjoyable, interesting read,
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While this was a slow paced book, I enjoyed the writing style immensely. 

There are a variety of characters to connect with and enjoy. The story is set in Pakistan and is told from a teenage point of view (Hassan) who wins a scholarship but only wishes to help his mother and determine where he stands with the bees. 

This felt like a coming of age story through and through. The choices one must make to define themselves while staking out who they are to the public. Hassan faces a difficulty we all must face in life and in turn then allow the consequences to play out. I enjoyed seeing him on this journey. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for allowing to read the e-arc.
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Author Siya Turabi's debut novel, "The Last Beekeeper" is a delightful read!  Young Hassan is determined to collect the black honey that will cure his mother's failing eyesight.  He soon must make a choice, stay in his poor village to help his mother, or leave his beloved bees and embrace an easier life in England with the governor's niece.  

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of 1970s Pakistan, Turabi weaves a magnificent and magical story of a boy who has a special relationship with bees.  The author's descriptive writing brought Hassan's world to life.  This is an absolutely lovely coming-of-age story!

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the privilege of reading an advanced digital copy of this marvelous book in exchange for my honest review.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

beautifully written and very descriptive, about a time and place in pakistan...
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Hassan wins a scholarship from the State Governor to go and study in Karachi where he meets a girl, Maryam, and the two strike up a friendship. Hassan finds he has a very unique relationship with bees and wants to put this to good use by going home and finding the renowned, but rare, black bees who produce black honey. The urgency for doing this is he needs to collect some of the black honey as it is said to be a cure for the creeping blindness that his mother suffers from. It is said if she applies it to her eyes her sight will return.
We follow Hassan's story as he persuades the Governor to take him back to his village so he can find the hive. The outcome is ultimately to give Hassan a dilemma. Does he go to London on a scholarship, sponsored by Maryam's family. Does he stay in the village and live with his mother. Or, does he live deep in the jungle as the last beekeeper.
An original and, at times lyrical tale this is certainly a "different" sort of read. I enjoyed it .
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The book is reminiscent of The kite runner. It is a slow burn read that is characteri driven whose underlying message is hope. . A good first read .
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This is a true book of testing times and what actually matters the most. 
A wonderfully written book of love and hope and heartache.
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🐝 The Last Beekeeper 🐝 
By Siya Turabi
Published by: One More Chapter (Aug 15. 2021)

I have a soft spot for debut authors and always love reading from a different culture than my own. Makes me feel like I’m learning and loving and connected to another part of the world. 

The Last Beekeeper was a recommended book to me from another Bookstagram friend who thought I would enjoy it. And I did. It was light, easy to read and still keep me turning the pages. 

Torn between helping his mother and her eyesight and following his love interest to England, Hassan is at a crossroads when he has to make the decision between his past and his future. It’s actually at the push and dream of his mother that Hassan makes that first step; a selfless act by a mother who wants more for her child. 

I enjoyed it but there was just something missing for me in the end. I read a lot of south Asian books and while I recognize that perhaps I’m not the best voice on the book, I do think I would have enjoyed more depth into Hassan. I also found it unique in the sense that most books that have strong culture running through; use local words and terms more often in their storytelling. It allows the reader to sink and connect on a deeper level. 

I think that it was one I could say that a YA would enjoy. I did like it but just didn’t connect the way I was hoping. 

On that note, it is a debut and I wish the author all the best on her writing journey. Thank you to the publishers for the gifted copy in return for an honest review
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