Guest Review: People of the Book


Reviewed by Lisa

Note: Geraldine Brooks will be in Omaha Jan 18, 2009. Click here for details.

Brooks is an Australian journalist/author who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her novel "March."

"People of the Book" is the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah (an actual 500-year-old Jewish Passover prayer book most notable for it's unusual illuminations). The narrative is told from the point of view of Australian book conservator, Hanna Heath, who first travels to Sarajevo in 1996, after the Bosnian siege, to do conservation work on the Haggadah. While there, she uncovers several clues as to the history of the book. From there the book alternates between chapters involving Hanna and chapters telling the story of how the clues came to be in the book. This back and forth style reads as if you are reading several short stories and really keeps the book going. Brooks writes beautifully descriptive stories that never feel overly wordy, she has very interesting characters and there is so much to learn historically. This is one of my favorite books in a long while; I had looked forward to it for some time and was not disappointed!

Type: Fiction, 400 pages, Trade paperback

Synopsis:
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated prayer book through centuries of war, destruction, theft, loss, and love.

Reviews:
“There’s a romance between Brooks and the world, and her writing is as full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgment.” – The Boston Globe

“Intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written and original… Brooks tells a believable and engaging story.”- The Washington Post

1 comment

  1. I loved this book. I was so ambivalent about "March" that I was a little hesitant to pick up another Brooks novel. But after hearing her speak in Omaha, I was willing to give it a chance. I'm so glad I did! This history was amazing.

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