As meticulously researched as all of Brooks' previous work, People of the Book is a gripping and moving novel about war, art, love and survival. When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is ...Read MoreAs meticulously researched as all of Brooks' previous work, People of the Book is a gripping and moving novel about war, art, love and survival. When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah - a Jewish prayer book - to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival. But the trip will also set in motion a series of events that threaten to rock Hanna's orderly life, including her encounter with Ozren Karamen, the young librarian who risked his life to save the book. As meticulously researched as all of Brooks' previous work, People of the Book is a gripping and moving novel about war, art, love and survival. Shortlisted for the 2009 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year. 'an imaginative tour de force' Good Weekend 'intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written and original' Washington Post 'a fearless and engaging writer' Courier-MailRead Less
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I couldn't wait to turn the page. It is a well written, wonderful journey. I also recommend other words by this author, Geraldine Brooks and her husband, Tony Horwitz.
Apr 26, 2012
The history is well-researched and excellent. The romantic aspects of the plot a bit sappy. Brooks' background as a journalist usually stands her in good stead. Liked other books of hers better. My book group read it and were pretty well in accord about this book.
Sep 7, 2011
Fantastic Historical Fiction
This book is about the people, who possibly illuminated, wrote and protected the Sarajevo Haggadah, through its history. Believed to have been written it 15th century Spain, it now resides in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
The story starts with a rare book expert Hanna, who is hired to analyze and catalog the manuscript, she finds within the binding several artifacts, an insect wing, wine stains, salt and a white hair. From there the book goes back in time to how each of these items may have come to end up in the book. The chapters alternate between present day (1996) to the years that these items may have come to be. A very rich and vivid history of the religions of these times Jewish, Islamic & Christian, how at times they existed in harmony and others at in total war.
Dec 16, 2010
Transport yourself across 500 years
A wonderful journey from the perspective of many voices A great read.
Aug 8, 2010
loved reading a fresh idea
i really enjoyed this book. frequently we read the same stories over and over again. this was a historical fiction presented in a new way and what might have been. the story was well crafted and hard to put down
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-01 Reading Geraldine Brooks's remarkable debut novel, Year of Wonders, or more recently March, which won the Pulitzer Prize, it would be easy to forget that she grew up in Australia and worked as a journalist. Now in her dazzling new novel, People of the Book, Brooks allows both her native land and current events to play a larger role while still continuing to mine the historical material that speaks so ardently to her imagination. Late one night in the city of Sydney, Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call. The Sarajevo Haggadah, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to report on its condition. Missing documents and art works (as Dan Brown and Lev Grossman, among others, have demonstrated) are endlessly appealing, and from this inviting premise Brooks spins her story in two directions. In the present, we follow the resolutely independent Hanna through her thrilling first encounter with the beautifully illustrated codex and her discovery of the tiny signs-a white hair, an insect wing, missing clasps, a drop of salt, a wine stain-that will help her to discover its provenance. Along with the book she also meets its savior, a Muslim librarian named Karaman. Their romance offers both predictable pleasures and genuine surprises, as does the other main relationship in Hanna's life: her fraught connection with her mother. In the other strand of the narrative we learn, moving backward through time, how the codex came to be lost and found, and made. From the opening section, set in Sarajevo in 1940, to the final section, set in Seville in 1480, these narratives show Brooks writing at her very best. With equal authority she depicts the struggles of a young girl to escape the Nazis, a duel of wits between an inquisitor and a rabbi living in the Venice ghetto, and a girl's passionate relationship with her mistress in a harem. Like the illustrations in the Haggadah, each of these sections transports the reader to a fully realized, vividly peopled world. And each gives a glimpse of both the long history of anti-Semitism and of the struggle of women toward the independence that Hanna, despite her mother's lectures, tends to take for granted. Brooks is too good a novelist to belabor her political messages, but her depiction of the Haggadah bringing together Jews, Christians and Muslims could not be more timely. Her gift for storytelling, happily, is timeless. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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