Saturday, July 10, 2010

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book
by Geraldine Brooks
Penguin Books, 2009
672 pages
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. 

Thoughts:
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:
Other Reviews:

Maggie Reads | Book Nut | Medieval Bookworm

14 comments:

irisonbooks said...

This book has received mixed review, but I really want to read it.

Amy said...

I really loved this book, I thought it was wonderful. Glad to see that you loved it!

Ryan G said...

I'm not familiar with this one but you got me wanting to read it.

Helen said...

I've been trying to decide whether I want to read this book or not. I've seen a few positive reviews lately, including yours, so I think I'll give it a try.

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

Glad you liked it!!

Mystica said...

I read this a while ago and liked it. Thanks for this review.

Alyce said...

I listened to this as an audiobook and loved the narrator and the story.

Cozy in Texas said...

I haven't heard of this, but it sounds very interesting. Thanks for the review.
Ann
Cozy In Texas

Zibilee said...

You know, I have tried to get my bookclub to read this book several times, but they always avoid it! I have heard amazing things about this book and so want to read it. I may just have to go it alone on this one!! Great review, Amanda! You've made me want to move this one to the top of the pile!

Andi said...

I sooo want to get lost in this book, so thanks for reminding me. I'm going to check on the e-book price, and I could've sworn I saw it remaindered somewhere recently. Could kick myself for now picking it up.

Veens said...

Oh WOW! Sounds like something I would love to read! I so want to get lost too! It is been so long since I have really enjoyed something :)

Amy said...

I loved Year of Wonders and bought this one right after reading it. I still haven't gotten to it yet, but I'm moving it up in the pile now! Thanks for the great review...I like a chunkster too :-)

Elizabeth said...

Wow...love your blog....so neat.

Elizabeth said...

I also read both People of the Book and Year of Wonders...loved them both.

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