The Beekeeper of New York By Summer Luqman

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Yusra has spent a lifetime protecting her autistic brother, but when he falls gravely ill she discovers how little she really knows about his life. Now, not only must she come to terms with his secret world, but she must use what she learns to help save his life.

Part Paulo Coelho, part Lee Child… The Beekeeper of New York twists from philosophical and mystical to a more earthy thriller as Yusra’s quest to discover the truth and save her brother heats up.

Yusra’s earliest memory is from the vibrant marketplace in Al Hudaydah, when her autistic brother Someer is savagely beaten by a crowd who believe he is possessed by demons. Since that moment she has protected Someer and rejected gods and monsters, and all of the invisible forces that make people do cruel and unthinking things.

But now Someer is lying unconscious in a New York hospital bed, and Yusra is discovering his secret, invisible world that she had never imagined possible. But can she come to terms with her discovery and put her trust in Someer in time to save his life?

Slowly Yusra discovers that nobody in her life is exactly who she thought they were, and that help can arrive from the most unexpected places, if only she can develop a little faith.


She wondered how it would feel to face death without faith. How it would feel to face a true ending, not just a transition between worlds. An ending with no hope of anything else to follow.

My thoughts

I absolutely agree that this book has shades of Paul Coelho’s poetic and philosophical prose, but I failed to see a likeness with Lee Child, although I have only read one book by that author.

The story is deceptively simple. Yusra has an autistic brother, Someer, whom she is very protective of as he is incapable of looking after himself and his autism makes him vulnerable to harm. Someer falls off a building and is in a coma from which he may never recover. And Yusra begins to uncover things about Someer’s life that she had no idea about.

During the course of the book Yusra is forced to face some realities that she doesn’t want to. There is a question mark hanging over the cause of Someer’s fall from the rooftop and as Yusra begins to seek answers by looking into the life Someer had that was unknown to her, lots more questions arose.

The book is simply written but has unexpected depth. It is a very paced novel but I never found it to be boring and I became very invested in the characters and uncovering the truth of their lives. I absolutely recommend this lovely story, the debut by this author. I will be looking out for further books by her.

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