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People of the Book: A Novel Paperback – December 30, 2008
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Two things that are keeping this from being a five star for me. There was too much about Hanna. Her character obviously is important, but the whole love affair, her problems with her mother, all of that could easily have been taken out. And that last chapter sounded like something from a Mission Impossible movie, and was totally unnecessary.
The other thing was the ommission of Leila's meeting with Sula's son, in Israel. This is described in the article but for some reason was left out of the book. Its a beautiful and moving moment, and needed to be there.
That being said, I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent read.
An Australian, Dr. Heath embraces the acerbic wit of her culture, clumsy at the communication skills so easily wielded by others; of a more contemplative nature, she is devoted to the historic value of the volumes she restores. Troubled by a chronic antagonism with her neurosurgeon mother, the young woman has built a life around her work in compensation. Meanwhile, Hannah's romantic curiosity is piqued by the enigmatic man assisting her at the museum in Sarajevo, widower Dr. Ozrem Karaman, his infant son profoundly brain-injured and wife killed in the war's crossfire. Her emotions in turmoil, Hanna's natural impulse is to soothe Ozrem's pain; unfortunately, she cannot forestall the inevitable or alter fate. Hannah turns to her work- for Hanna, books speak to objectifiable history, while feelings are impossible to confine.Read more ›
The book first came to light in 1894. After passing through many hands, it disappeared in 1992, when the Sarajevo siege began. After four years, it suddenly reappears and an Israeli expert, Amitai Yomtov, awakens Hannah at two o'clock in the morning to tell her the exciting news. Most scholars believed that the book had been stolen or destroyed during the fighting. It turns out that the head of the museum library in Sarajevo, Ozren Karaman, placed the Haggadah in a safe-deposit box for safekeeping. "Can you imagine, Channah?" Amitai exclaims. "A Muslim, risking his neck to save a Jewish book." Now, UN officials want an expert to inspect the Haggadah for signs of damage.
Although she is technically proficient and has written many highly-regarded papers in her field, Hanna brings something extra to the table.Read more ›
The true story of the haggadah's narrow escapes from destruction, chronicled in a December 3, 2007 New Yorker article by Brooks (featuring a color reproduction of one of the haggadah's striking illustrations), is so fantastic it seems almost impossible to fictionalize it. But what Brooks does so convincingly is what empathetic historical novelists do best --- offer us rich insights into the interior lives of both real and fictional characters that reveal the human drama behind a fact-based story. As one of the book's characters reminds us, "a book is more than the sum of its materials. It is an artifact of the human mind and hand."
The novel opens in the spring of 1996, after the Bosnia hostilities have ceased, leaving the city of Sarajevo a shattered remnant of its former self. Hanna Heath, a brash young conservator of medieval manuscripts from Australia, is summoned to the National Museum of Bosnia to restore the 15th century codex, featuring 34 pages of striking illuminations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. It was so informative and the characters believable. I was hooked from the beginning and want to read more books by her. What a superb story teller.Published 13 hours ago by Kelly
It is a well crafted story,well written with great, interesting and mind-expanding historical and moral details. Recommended for all readers of historical fiction. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Genealogist with Swiss, Bohemian,German,Huguenot, and Jewish ancestry
This was our book club's top read for 2015 and a better story than "March", in my view. Brooks joins Kingsolver at the top of my author list.Published 3 days ago by Robert Earl Woodson
Very interesting story. I love to read books that contain some historical facts.Published 4 days ago by Jos books
Great book. Maybe a tad sophomoric in the plot - given the general lack of passion of a obscure book - but the characters were well developed, the structure was excellent, and most... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Owl
Great characters. Was sucked into the story from the get go. Very thought provoking. It would make for a great book club discussion.Published 14 days ago by Lori Boatwright
A wonderful combination of the " man's inhumanity to man ", throughout time and beautifully crafted characters as they all, unknowingly, contribute to the whole history of... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Ian W. Saunders
Has become one of my favourite authors , this a wideranging and fascinating book about scholarship, war, prejudice and the love of beautiful books . Read morePublished 15 days ago by jan