Beyond the Book: Background information when reading People of the Book

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

People of the Book

by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks X
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 384 pages
    Jan 2009, 672 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Did You Know?

  • People of the Book is a work of fiction inspired by the Sarajevo Haggadah - all the characters are imaginary, as are most of the events.

    Extensive photographs and a brief description of what is known of the Sarajevo Haggadah's history are available at

  • A Haggadah contains the order of the Passover Seder (a ritual feast held during Passover). Haggadah, which translates as "telling," fulfills the scriptural commandment to each Jew to tell their children about the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus.

  • According to the online exhibit of the Passover Haggadah from the Yale University collections, the first printed version of the Haggadah was published in Guadalajara, Spain, in 1482 - just ten years before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

  • In modern times, the Haggadah has taken on a new significance as Jewish life has changed and evolved. Often, it reflects contemporary issues in addition to Israel's ancient history.

Interesting Links:

  • An essay by Brooks, that was first published in the New Yorker (Dec. 2007) and is reprinted at her website, which details the World War II history of the Sarajevo Haggadah.

  • A map illustrating the fictional path of the Sarajevo Haggadah taken from People of The Book.

This article was originally published in January 2008, and has been updated for the January 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women & Power
    Women & Power
    by Mary Beard
    The treatise Women & Power: A Manifesto discusses a scene in Homer's Odyssey in which Odysseus&...
  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.