As I mentioned in this post last summer, my first experience with Geraldine Brooks was her nonfiction The Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women. Brooks used her years of experience reporting from the middle east to write a great book that provides a lot of background on Islamic women to those of us far from familiar with their beliefs and lives.
After reading Year of Wonders last summer (which I realize I’ve never reviewed), I fell in love with Brooks’ fiction work and couldn’t wait to read another one of her books. People of the Book was next up on my list.
People of the Book begins with, Hannah, an ancient book restoration expert in 1996, traveling to Sarajevo to inspect the Sarajevo Haggadah, an important Jewish book that hadn’t surfaced since prior to WWII. As Hannah inspects the book, she discovers clues that eventually transport us back in time, following the book to its creation.
We follow the book back in time and witness the various atrocities Jews have endured over the years. We learn how the book’s owners survived or lost their lives. Throughout the book, Brooks emphasizes humanity among the atrocities from those who saved the book to those who saved the owners of the book.
Writing 5 out of 5 stars
Brooks’ writing was clear and transported me along the journey of discovering the book’s origin.
Character Development 4 out of 5 stars
As we travel back, we get to know a lot of fairly well developed characters
Plot Structure 5 out of 5 stars
The organization of the book works really well to move the plot forward.
Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars
Using the real life discovery of the Sarajevo Haggadah, Brooks tells a deep and intriguing story.
Total 4.75 out of 5 stars
Have you read People of the Book? What did you think?