Reader reviews and comments on People of the Book, plus links to write your own review.

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People of the Book

by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 384 pages
    Jan 2009, 672 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein

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There are currently 6 reader reviews for People of the Book
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Power Reviewer Dorothy T. (01/20/13)

Great historical novel
Geraldine Brooks has a great talent for combining mystery, family conflict, and religious persecution within a framework of historical truth that makes this novel really engrossing. The way she ties the seemingly insignificant clues together and to the people who are instrumental in the development of the journey of this revered book is remarkable. I look forward to reading more of her work.
Amanda (A Bookshelf Monstrosity) (07/09/10)

People of the Book
Man, I love big, fat books in which I can totally get lost. And this book, spanning multiple countries over 500 years, is the ultimate saga covering art, religious persecution, book conservation, and more. I know that the length of the book can seem intimidating, but readers who are interested in these themes will not be sorry they read it.

Interspersed throughout Hanna's narrative in 1996 Sarajevo are the stories of the various people throughout history who were in some way connected with the survival of the ancient Haggadah. Each period we visit in the book's history corresponds with a fragment or small object found by Hanna's conservation efforts of the ancient book. On the journey, readers will encounter war, discrimination, prejudice, and tradition that lasts for centuries.

The Hagaddah in the book is in fact based on a real object, the Sarajevo Hagaddah, written around 1314 in Spain.
linda McG (09/19/09)

I loved this book. It took me on a journey I've never traveled before.
Power Reviewer PDXReader (05/22/09)

Good historical fiction
I really loved the idea of tracing an important book back through history using clues left in its binding. The parts of this novel that focused on the object's past and on the people who had been involved in its handling were excellent and illuminating; it made great historical fiction. Unfortunately, these marvelous scenes are bracketed by the unconvincing modern-day story of the woman charged with restoring the book. Some of actions she takes are ludicrous, her character is unbelievable, and the author’s attempts to draw us into this character’s personal life simply don’t work. I think the book is worth reading, but it’s definitely not perfect.
Alina M Noval (04/21/08)

Magical gut wrenching book about man's inhumanity and humanity
People of the book took me on a journey of complexity and more understanding of religions, the seriousness of their beginnings and the people who were raised by very strong principals. I was invested in more Christianity Judaism and of Muslims in different eras different wars and the loss and suffering of humanity. Humanity suffers and endure whether personally or historically and especially because of wars fought for religion, money greed and power. The author of The People of the Book is a fantastic storyteller reweaving the stories as intricately as the book was. Perhaps one day we could all live like in the Convivencia of long ago where Jews Christians and Muslims lived in harmony (as I'm sure god would prefer.) i sobbed at certain points and Brooks writing touched me deeply. Geraldine Brooks definitely deserves the Pulitzer prize.
Janice Prindle (01/13/08)

People of the Book
My local bookstore owner recommended it, and she never steers me wrong. Brooks creates unforgettable characters as she leapfrogs from present day Sarajevo to World War Two to 19th century Vienna...and ultimately to 15th century Spain and the Conviviencia, a Golden Age where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace and learned from one another. There's an international "thriller" aspect to this novel as well as the uncovering of a family secret undermining a complex mother-daughter relationship. But above all, Brooks offers us a rich portrayal of the interweaving of Eastern and Western cultures around the Mediterranean that have created the world of strife we live in today, and she shows us the hope of a new Conviviencia based on our shared love of our common artistic heritage. Fantastic!
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