People of the Book

  • by Geraldine Brooks
  • Narrated by Edwina Wren
  • 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

enthralling, a wonderful story

I normally choose thrillers by writers such as Lee Child, Thomas Perry etc but I was intrigued by the story of this novel so decided to try it out. I loved it, thought the author's way of telling the story with flashbacks linked to particular discoveries made by her book conservator character was really good. She made me feel I was there with her characters, living through some harrowing experiences which made me both uncomfortable for the tormented and angry at the tormentors and reminded me how hateful humans can be to those of different races or beliefs. The narrator was good overall, easy to listen to although some of the accents she gave certain characters were slightly irritating. People of the Book was a change of style for me and one that I am very glad I chose to listen to. It was a detective story about the origins of and journeys undertaken by this Jewish book and I was fascinated by the afterword which related how Geraldine Brooks came to write this story of the Sarajevo Haggadah, based on fact and how much help she had from all sorts of experts. Riveting.
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- Jane Shepherd

Fascinating.

I loved this book, it was a fantastic listen.
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- Mrs. REP

Book Details

  • Release Date: 31-10-2008
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd