People of the Book is one of the most interesting books I’ve read recently. It took me to places I never imagined. I was working at a bookshop when this book first came out and now I can see why everyone made such a fuss about Geraldine Brooks.
Another book by an Australian author, the inspiration behind People of the Book is an intriguing one. It is the type of story every writer wishes to tell about how they came up with the idea for the book. Geraldine Brooks writes about the people and story this is based on in an article in The New Yorker, which you can have a look at here.
The book is about Hannah, a book conservator and how she came to work with the Sarajevo Hagaddah. I googled images of this hagaddah and it is as striking as described in the book. The story also alternates between Hannah and the past, made up of little short stories of various places the hagaddah had been and these stories is what makes this book such a fantastic read. This is the part I enjoyed the most, little clues about the missing silver clasps, preserved butterfly and following these stories.
Hannah’s story, following her from Sydney to Sarajevo to Boston to London, is an interesting one. With a few twist and turns in itself Hannah’s story is no less intriguing than little excerpts that takes us 100s of years back in time.
The research behind this book is obvious. Geraldine Brooks, a journalist and author, is a fantastic writer and I could not put this book down. Some of her other books include March and Year of Wonders, both, I hear very good things about.