I haven't been really excited about a novel for a long time.
This book kept me intrigued from page one.
Based on the true story of an ancient Jewish text known as the
A rare book indeed not only for it's tales of survival
but mostly for it's incredible illuminations.
Here's a sample from the actual book, housed in a museum in Sarajevo...
Not only does it break tradition by depicting the human form, but it also portrays the world as round, an heretical concept during the middle ages.
It has survived persecution since the 14th century along with the
people who have risked life and limb to conceal and save it.
I'll let this review tell you a bit more...
One of the earliest Jewish religious volumes to be illuminated with images, the Sarajevo Haggadah survived centuries of purges and wars thanks to people of all faiths who risked their lives to safeguard it. Geraldine Brooks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, has turned the intriguing but sparely detailed history of this precious volume into an emotionally rich, thrilling fictionalization that retraces its turbulent journey. In the hands of Hanna Heath, an impassioned rare-book expert restoring the manuscript in 1996 Sarajevo, it yields clues to its guardians and whereabouts: an insect wing, a wine stain, salt crystals, and a white hair. While readers experience crucial moments in the book's history through a series of fascinating, fleshed-out short stories, Hanna pursues its secrets scientifically, and finds that some interests will still risk everything in the name of protecting this treasure. A complex love story, thrilling mystery, vivid history lesson, and celebration of the enduring power of ideas, People of the Book will surely be hailed as one of the best of 2008. --Mari Malcolm
Part art history, part thriller, big part cultural education,
this book is WELL worth a read.