by Geraldine Brooks
Penguin Books, 2009
Source: J.T. Oldfield (thanks!)
Summary in a Sentence:
Rare book expert Hanna Heath discovers a number of tiny artifacts hidden within the binding of a fifteenth-century Hebrew manuscript and begins to unravel the mysteries behind its past.
Not every story has a happy ending.
Man, I love big, fat books in which I can totally get lost. And this book, spanning multiple countries over 500 years, is the ultimate saga covering art, religious persecution, book conservation, and more. I know that the length of the book can seem intimidating, but readers who are interested in these themes will not be sorry they read it.
Interspersed throughout Hanna's narrative in 1996 Sarajevo are the stories of the various people throughout history who were in some way connected with the survival of the ancient Haggadah. Each period we visit in the book's history corresponds with a fragment or small object found by Hanna's conservation efforts of the ancient book. On the journey, readers will encounter war, discrimination, prejudice, and tradition that lasts for centuries.
The Hagaddah in the book is in fact based on a real object, the Sarajevo Hagaddah, written around 1314 in Spain.
You might also like:
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
Maggie Reads | Book Nut | Medieval Bookworm