“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

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.