Marissa's Reviews > People of the Book

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
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's review
Mar 16, 2008

really liked it
Read in March, 2008

There was a book written a few years ago (I can't remember its name) where it followed a painting through its owners. I didn't really like the book and didn't finish it but as I started this one, I thought, "Oh, Brooks is following the same pattern."

In this book we are introduced to the Haggadah in Sarajevo. The book is a treasure, it was written sometime in the 16th century. It has illustrations that are the first of their kidn for a Jewish work. The book has somehow survived hundreds of years of persecution by different people.

Now, what I didn't like about that other book I was talking about is that when I start reading a book, I feel involved. To have everything (characters, setting, time period) change every ten pages doesn't give me the sense of being there that I love in novels. Brooks handles this masterfully. We follow Hanna, a book specialist, who handles the Haggadah after it has been returned from its last hiding during the war in Sarajevo. While repairing the book, Hanna notices some different specimens in the pages that she takes for further study. In good sized, well-thought out storytelling, Brooks tells us the story of the Haggadah at the point that the specimen became entwined with the book (salt crystals, a white hair, holes with missing clasps, etc). After we learn more about the Haggadah and its glimpse of history we return to Hanna and find what she is learning. It made it all seem more relevant and as if all these people are connected. I enjoyed that.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Cecily (new)

Cecily FYI the book you are talking about that you didn't like is Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Ryan loves it. It is okay.

Bernadette Yep that was Girl in Hyacinth Blue. I LOVED that book. I am enjoying People of the Book so far.

Naomi I loved Girl in Hyacinth Blue. And I'm loving People of the Book as well.

Mary I also read girl in hyacinth blue a few years ago and loved it. Last month I read the wedding dress by Rachel hauck-same premise. It was pretty good but I felt the author rushed through the stories of the dress too quickly. Brooks did a nice job with people of the book and I like that she revisited characters at the end that she left hanging earlier.

message 5: by Joan (new) - added it

Joan Annie Proulx wrote a book about an accordion traced to various owners in its history.

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