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46. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks...

March 7, 2009
People of the Book is a lovely story by Geraldine Brooks, about the journey of a rare illustrated Jewish book, the Sarajevo Haggadah. The book lays out the story from the eyes of Dr. Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, and intersperses the history & journey of the book itself, in alternating chapters.

The characters in this story are well fleshed-out, beginning with Hanna. Her own journey includes discovering the identity of her father, and the existence of a family that she can call her own... From the slave who learned to draw by doodling under her father's desk, to the scholar's daughter who bathes her newborn nephew in a river during the Spanish Inquisition. I felt immersed in these snippets of history.

I described this book to the Mr. as something akin to The Red Violin, one of my favorite movies. The flashbacks into history, vivid descriptions of the characters' world in that time, poignant tales of sacrifice and bravery, made me read through in one sitting. The difference between People of the Book and The Red Violin, is the former's historical narrative is in reverse chronological order. And Samuel Jackson isn't in it. =)

Title: People of the Book
Author: Geraldine Brooks
ISBN-10: 0-143-11500-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-14-311500-7
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin, 2008

Many thanks to Julie Harabedian for the opportunity to read this lovely book!

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This book sounds so good. I've got it on my wish list.

Kaye said...

I thought this was a wonderful book. The history parts actually had me holding my breath in places, it was so good. Is The Red Violin just a movie or is there a book? Don't think I have ever heard of the movie but it sounds great.

drey said...

bermudaonion ~ I had to finish it, I had to know the story behind the haggadah!

Kaye ~ The Red Violin (as far as I know) is a movie. It follows a violin's passage from its maker to an auction house, including a stop in Revolutionary China. Music performed by Joshua Bell (my fav!) and the only really "big" star is Samuel Jackson.

Angela said...

I absolutely loved People of the Book. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well.

Melanie said...

Loved this book - one of the best I read last year.

Dar said...

I just bought this book the other day. I'm hoping for time to read it soon. Glad you enjoyed it Drey.

Blodeuedd said...

Loved this book when I read it :)

Booklover Book Reviews said...

Excellent review. I have included a direct link to this review in my post AUSSIE AUTHOR IN FOCUS - Geraldine Brooks, here http://bookloverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/01/aussie-author-in-focus-geraldine-brooks.html

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