Monday 3 March 2008

Wonderful Audiobook

Finished March 1
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, performed by Edwina Wren
This is a wonderful story following a famous manuscript through time. In 1996, Hanna Heath a young Australian conservator is asked to conserve the Sarajevo Haggadah, a unique Jewish religious book that, unlike most Jewish books, is illuminated. The illustrations are wonderful, portraying the story behind the Jewish seder. Most recently, the book was rescued from the museum in Sarajevo by the librarian. As Hanna carefully conserves the manuscript and notes the special aspects of it, she finds a small insect wing, a hair, some stains on the pages, and other things that might give some hints to where the manuscript has been over time. The book takes us back in time to where the manuscript was when it gained these items. The stories behind the history of the manuscript, its makers, and its various rescues is very engaging and takes us from Spain, to Italy, to Germany and to Sarajevo. The people involved in its history have engrossing stories of their own and as the stories emerge, we also learn Hanna's story and how she came to be who she is, and who she becomes as a result of her work on this manuscript.
This is an utterly engrossing book, that I had to listen to so avidly that instead of listening only in the car as I normally do, I had to bring it into the house and put it on the stereo and just sit and absorb it.
This will be a favourite for the year, I am sure already.

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