View our feature on Geraldine Books’s People of the Book.
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war
In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.
In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A very good read.
Absorbing, and great entertainment for the intellect too. Love interest predictable.
People of the Book
Excellent! Geraldine Brooks has taken us on a unique and enjoyable trip back in history. I highly recomment this book. The naration was also nothing less than perfect. I would have preferred for the time line of her visits back in history to have started with the oldest, ending with the most recent, but this was minor and did not harm the story at all. Enjoy!
One of the best books I've read lately
I read the hard copy of this book and I couldn't put it down once I started reading. It is very well written and each story is captivating in its own way, putting together the entire book. AWESOME book. You will not regret spending the money on it.