Daisy's Reviews > People of the Book

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 16, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: australia, former-yugoslavia, israel, italy, spain, vienna, middle-east, audio-library-books, book-infinity
Recommended to Daisy by: Magdalena
Read from June 16 to July 20, 2010 , read count: 1

I think I liked it better as a story told to me than I would have liked reading it. It's one of the first audio books I've ever read/experienced. I took it hiking with me and walking around the city and of course in the car to and from jobs. Walking with an audio book is the best. You just want to keep on going. Experiencing a narrator is fun too. I grew attached to Edwina Wren's voice and sometimes bothered by the accents she put on (which I know were necessary, helpful even, to keep characters' voices clear).

As it was though, it was a great adventure. Parts were tedious and some lines were corny but I learned a lot and it means well. I mean, the moral of the story is the same as the moral of the Haggadah's existence, which celebrates the unification of all peoples and cultures and religions. Sure some of the episodes, especially the recent ones from our lifetime, tied up a little too pat, but it was all really very satisfying. You like being more in the know about the clues Hanna finds than she is. You've gotten drawn into the lives of the people-of-the-book throughout the centuries, you're practically the expert; you've got one up on Hanna but you know she's on course and you encourage her. Here's what shoshanapnw on goodreads says much better than I can: I especially appreciated the voyeuristic pleasure of knowing more about the Haggadah's story than the protagonist ever can.

I like that Hanna's relationship with her mother is stormy and unresolved. I like meeting Lola twice. I like that Hanna leaves her own trace in the Haggadah. I like how it comes full circle and Hanna figures out who created the whole thing. And all the historical pieces are entertaining and educational, from Spain in the 1400s to Italy in the 1600s, and WW2 in central Europe to the war in the Balkans. I hope I remember some of the historical details my mind usually lets loose. I hope listening to this book makes it easier to remember because I usually forget so much of what I read.

Also I learned the term "linguistic accommodation." That's when someone spends time in a foreign country and picks up the accent from there in their own language. I never knew there was a term for that.
7 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read People of the Book.
Sign In »

Quotes Daisy Liked

Geraldine Brooks
“How was it that he could remember not remembering, and yet the fugitive facts themselves remained so elusive? How could he misplace the skills of a lifetime? Where did such knowledge go?”
Geraldine Brooks, People of the Book

Reading Progress

06/16/2010 page 1
10.0% "(8/152)" 1 comment
06/17/2010 page 2
20.0% "28/152"
06/18/2010 page 4
40.0% "45/152"
06/18/2010 page 4
40.0% "52/152"
06/21/2010 page 4
40.0% "4m:55/152"
06/25/2010 page 6
60.0% "6c; 72/152"
07/01/2010 page 6
60.0% "6L; 81/152"
07/02/2010 page 7
70.0% "7i; 91/152"
07/09/2010 page 9
90.0% "115/152"
07/15/2010 page 10
100.0% "10C" 1 comment
07/17/2010 page 10
100.0% "On disc 11 of 12."
07/17/2010 page 11
92.0% "11E"
show 2 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Mahlon My parents loved this...I'm not very far in it...but it's great

message 2: by Lara (new) - added it

Lara I've just recently gotten in to audio books - I stick with nonfiction, only because I tend to get distracted with cooking or dishes or driving while I'm listening and think I'd miss important bits of novels.

Liddy I read this one. I really liked the history part, but got annoyed with the current parts, especially her relationship with her mother. That part seemed really one-dimensional and I found it hard to believe. But I would still recommend it, and I'd read anything by Geraldine Brooks.

I'm a big big fan of audio books. I always have one going, to listen to in the car, in the kitchen, in the garden, walking the dog (when I'm lucky enough to have one visiting), or knitting. I find that books with a more linear narrative work best, and a good reader is key.

Daisy Liddy, I read a lot of reviews here that said that. I didn't mind the modern stuff really. I still think it's funny to "read" a book and not know for sure how to spell the main character's name. Hanna? Hannah? Hana? I figured it out but... I'm going to try another audio book soon. I have The Zookeeper's Wife.

Liddy I'm currently listening to The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I'm so glad I don't have to try to pronounce the names of the Swedish towns!

message 6: by Muphyn (new) - added it

Muphyn Oh, did Edwina Wren read this one?! She's one of my favourite audiobook readers! I love her voice and how she narrates. Must get the audio version for this one then. :)

Cathy I really enjoy listening to audio books and always enjoy the reader bringing the characters to life. However, it is distracting that she keeps mispronouncing the Hebrew words. Also, I think some of her accents were unnecessary - for instance, when Lola is talking with anyone in her own language, no accent is needed. The pat ending was also irritating - so politically correct with no bad guys, just good guys being selfless.

message 8: by Muphyn (new) - added it

Muphyn Cathy wrote: "I really enjoy listening to audio books and always enjoy the reader bringing the characters to life. However, it is distracting that she keeps mispronouncing the Hebrew words. Also, I think some ..."

Oh, really?! Hmm, that's annoying... :( I will have to give it a go, just because I love audiobooks so much and because I usually like Edwina Wren so much but thanks for the "warning"! :) Won't get my hopes up now...

David I listen to many audiobooks, and I just finished listening to this audiobook also. I think Edwina Wren's reading of it is excellent. Her shifting accents truly helped me to keep track of the characters--very helpful.

message 10: by Muphyn (new) - added it

Muphyn Thanks, David! I will definitely give it a go then! :)

Roanne I found Edwina a wonderful narrator, and though some of the "voices" are a tad shrill, she pulled it off remarkably well. Lovely review. I well agree.

back to top