Monday, May 18, 2009

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Flap copy from paperback:
"Hanna Heath, an Australian rare book expert, has been offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding- an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair- she begins to unlock the book's mysteries, ushering in its exquisite and atmospheric past, from its salvation back to its creation through centuries of exile and war."

This truly excellent book that tracks the fictional history of the Sarajevo Haggadah is a must read. I've lived in Sarajevo, and felt Brooks perfectly captured the flavor of the city in the brief glimpses we see in the narrative. This is the story of a magnificent and unique work of art, a book that has survived overwhelming odds and serves as an inspiration merely by its continued existence. Though the true story of the Sarajevo Haggadah is compelling enough, this narrative serves as a "what if" about the creators and protectors of the book, a story that personalizes a truly incredible journey. As Hanna unravels the story of the Haggadah, she simultaneously uncovers the lost truth about her own life and family, and discovers the self she never knew she had. I cannot recommend this book highly enough- 5 strong stars!

2 comments:

Sandra said...

Hello C. Enjoyed your review. I loved this book myself. Glad to see it get another good review. It deserves it.

mark said...

Great book. I liked it too. I recently reviewed it on my site. Feel free to drop by sometime and visit.
www.maphead.vox.com