Thursday, January 14, 2010

People of the Book

I just finished reading, People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. It's a novel about an ancient Haggadah, a beautifully illustrated manuscript telling the Passover and Exodus story. The story was based in Sarajevo but travelled back and forth between present time and various centuries over the last 500 years. It is loosely based on a real ancient Sarajevo haggadah. Or rather it was inspired by that haggadah.

The journey through time tells of the creation and survival of this haggadah through Nazi invasions and the Inquisition. It's a story about war and violence, hope and survival. It's a story about the presence of God in Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic faiths, and about what binds these faiths together - people, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, living their faith and helping one another. It's a story of the woman conservator who is brought in to repair the book and her quest to learn more about the history of the book. It's also a story about her journey to know herself better.

I enjoyed reading it and look forward to finding Brook's Pulitzer Prize winning book, March, and reading it. But for now I am moving on to Anita Diamant's book, Day After Day. I have read two other novels by Diamant, Red Tent and Good Harbor. I like her as an author, and look forward to reading this book.

4 comments:

Rev Nancy Fitz said...

Sound like great books. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just finished 2 mysteries and was reminded how much I enjoy reading 'non-work' stuff. I loved Red Tent so perhaps I'll search for her new book too. thanks for the tip.

Purple said...

Sounds so intriguing...again...adding to my list...smiling!!!!

altar ego said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I read her Nine Parts of Desire, which is a very good and easy read to get familiar with some of the realities of Muslim women. I think putting PotB on my list is in my future!

Diane said...

Our book group has read all of Brooks' books! I think I liked March the best, although I really liked this one, too. I have a weakness for old, illustrated books (that I can't afford), and just imagining that book and its history had me going.

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