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People of the Book By Geraldine Brooks
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People of the Book

People of the Book Reading Guide From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March comes Geraldine Brooks' biggest, boldest and most moving novel to date. People of the Book crosses continents and centuries to bring stories of hope amidst darkness, compassion amidst cruelty, all bound together by the discoveries made by a young Australian woman restoring an ancient Hebrew book. When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah - a Jewish prayer book - to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival. But the trip will also set in motion a series of events that threaten to rock Hanna's orderly life, including her encounter with Ozren Karamen, the young librarian who risked his life to save the book. As meticulously researched as all of Brooks' previous work, People of the Book is a gripping and moving novel about war, art, love and survival. What the critics have said: "... a tour de force that delivers a reverberating lesson gleaned from history." San Francisco Chronicle "A.S. Byatt published her literary mystery Possession almost 18 years ago, and it's been a long dry season for the genre since ... Brooks has, however, half found and half invented a swashbuckling book ... haunting and satisfying." Los Angeles Times "My one winter prediction: This erudite but suspenseful novel is going to become one of the most popular and successful works of fiction in the New Year." Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered "People of the Book shows the author's gift for entering difficult, pivotal times in history with a story so psychologically intimate and sensual that we feel we're there." More "Brooks is too good a novelist to belabor her political messages, but her depiction of the Haggadah bringing together Jews, Christians and Muslims could not be more timely. Her gift for storytelling, happily, is timeless" Publishers Weekly "Each story is engrossing and deftly woven into the narrative ..." Library Journal "With an ingenuity equal to that standing behind her Pulitzer Prize-winning March ... a marvelously evocative journey backward in time." Booklist (starred) "... enthralling historical mystery ... Rich suspense based on a true-life literary puzzle ..." Kirkus 'dazzling ... Brooks writing at her very best' Publishers Weekly What our readers have said: "I was hooked from the first page." Angie Lewis "It is a fascinating, engaging novel which showcases the many facets of Brooks, as a superb reporter and storyteller." Marlies Lagerberg "Beautifully written...loved it!" Samantha Clifton "This book has been an absolute delight to review. An excellent five star read." Judy Irvine "Totally engrossing...difficult to put down. Highly recommend it." Kate Paterson "I loved it. Didn't want it to end. Brooks has that wonderful talent of being able to draw you into a story so well that you are right there with the characters." Lisa Doorey "The depth of Brooks' writing always leaves me mulling over her characters long after the last page is read. Bravo Geraldine! The book will certainly be added to my all time favourites list." Jenny Field "A great book that captures the reader from the first page to the last." Jane Cowell "This is a splendid story...I was fascinated by the details of the book conservator's work." Ann Inglis "The central mystery of its creator is illuminated by the rich light of the lives of those who have touched - and been touched by the book. A lovely read." Sophie Masson "I am already recommending it to my friends." Pam Cunningham "People of the Book is a well-researched, exciting bibliographic detective story providing insights into significant periods of religious and political persecution. It is an adventure to be enjoyed while learning a little history along the way." Mary Bevis "The mystery of where the book had been - all the clues, intertwined with the relationships between Jews, Muslims & Christians- a book for our times." Patricia Morgan Reading Group Starting Points In what way does the book - the Sarajevo Haggadah, a Jewish prayer book - transcend its original purpose? Should a work like the Haggadah be restored to its original condition or merely conserved in its present form? Are there parallels between the story of the Haggadah and the story of the Sharansky painting in Sarah's home? From the Spanish Inquisition to the burning of books in Vienna, how do the mistakes of the past continue to repeat themselves in the story of the people of the book? In the museum in Sarejevo, Hanna reflects that 'diverse cultures influence and enrich one another'. How does this apply to the story of the creation and journey of the book? How do you see Hanna's role in the story of the book? How important is it to preserve the story of the book as well as the book itself? The book is known as the Sarajevo Haggadah but is this where it truly belongs? Given what happens to the book, do you believe people of different faiths can live together harmoniously? Also by Geraldine Brooks: March Year of Wonders About Geraldine Brooks: Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer prize-winning March, Year of Wonders, and the non-fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Previously, Brooks was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. Born and raised in Australia, she divides her time between Sydney and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. She lives with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz, and their son. You can visit her website at: www.geraldinebrooks.com <http://www.geraldinebrooks.com> And for Reading Group notes and questions for previous Geraldine novels as well as many other great HarperCollins titles go to www.harpercollins.com.au/rg <http://www.harpercollins.com.au/rg>

About Geraldine Brooks

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