People of the Book

content.chilifresh-9People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks, author of Year of Wonders and March, tackles the fictional history of a real book: the Sarajevo Haggadah. The Haggadah, an illuminated codex believed to be among the oldest surviving texts of Sephardic Judaism (produced in1350 A.D.), includes a series of remarkable illustrations of scenes from the Bible, illuminated in gold and copper plate. Brooks’ recreation of the Haggadah’s turbulent past (some pieces of which, including the book’s remarkable rescue by Muslims during World War II, are based on real events) begins when Australian rare books restorer Hanna Heath learns she has been chosen by the United Nations to restore this remarkable text. Moving back and forth in time, People of the Book follows the Haggadah through wars, ethnic and religious strife, and eventually, into an awesome symbol for both human tragedy and reconstruction.

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