People of the Book

People of the BookPeople of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I have to get this off my chest first of all: do not get the audiobook! I got through it, but I would have enjoyed it much more without the narrator’s very annoying accents that made every foreigner (except Australian) sound stupid and drunken. Do Hebrew/Yiddish speakers really pronounce every single English word beginning with H as aspirated? I also had a very hard time following each shift backwards in time. I’m not sure that would have been easier in a print version. I simply could not get an overall picture of the travels of this remarkable haggadah (the telling of the Passover story) from place to place, and owner to owner. Much of that is probably supposition. I did enjoy the individual vignettes of each time period. I also liked the description of the modern-day researcher, Hanna Heath, as she puzzled over the tiny artifacts found in the manuscript. However, the other side-plots did nothing for me. The love story went nowhere. The relationship with her mother went no where. A good book, but I have read better ones from Geraldine Brooks.

Book Description: Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force” by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century S pain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics.


1 Comment

  1. My brother read this book and was intrigued by it. I bought it but have yet to get to it. May need to pick it up. Thanks for the review.

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