People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very interesting novel, that is both a historical novel and a current novel. It's about Hannah, an antique book expert. She is called to Bosnia to inspect a Haggadah (Jewish prayer book), to authenticate it. She finds a hair, a wine stain, a part of a butterfly wing and salt water stains as she inspects the book. How each of these items became part of the book is told in separate chapters, from the most recent to the very beginning (and before) of the book. These chapters are interspersed with Hannah's own life - her rocky relationship with her mother, her relationships, etc. At first, this part of the book wasn't that intriguing ("Ho, hum. Another mother/daughter story..."), but as the book progresses, we see more and more into their lives, and see how Hannah, herself, is one of the "People of the Book". As a lover of books (and not just their contents, but the physical *books*, and as someone interested in Jewish culture, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But you don't have to have those interests to enjoy it. If you simply enjoy historical novels, you'll enjoy this.
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