People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
7 Rating(s)
List: $22.50 | Sale: $16.20
Club: $11.25

People of the Book

Narrator: Edwina Wren

Unabridged: 13 hr 54 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Published: 01/01/2008


View our feature on Geraldine Books’s People of the Book.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.


AudiobooksNow review by Scott on 2008-03-21 12:16:32

If you like history and a good detective story then read People of the Book. This is a great tale of all of the people involved with a priceless manuscript created over 500 years ago. The author does an excellent job of leading the reader through all of the intricate methods used in determining the story behind the book. You'll love it.

AudiobooksNow review by Cyndie Browning of Tulsa, OK on 2008-09-18 15:20:54

This is the 2nd book by Geraldine Brooks that I've read the first was _March_, and as far as I'm concerned, I'll be a fan of her writing for the rest of MY life, if not the rest of hers. _People of the Book_ is a fascinating history and mystery about how a very old sacred book came to be hidden and subsequently discovered in a library in Sarajevo, who handled it last, who had it before that, and who created the book centuries ago. As the story is told, I was introduced to cultures I have known very little about. I absolutely LOVED IT!!

AudiobooksNow review by Sally on 2009-05-24 17:00:40

I couldn't put it down -- Brooks' best yet. She excels at finding a true story and fleshing it out with believable characters to make the history live.

AudiobooksNow review by Morton on 2009-07-18 16:14:45

And yes, this is a wonderful book in both senses of that word: It not only a joy to read, but chock full of wonders. Geraldine Brppks not only writes beautifully, she manages to give each of her characters his or her individual voice And she does this though they live live in different eras and have wildly different backgrounds. Her historical research is--as far as I can tell--impeccable and she even makes what might seem to be the deadly dull craft of pigment making in the 15th century come alive. While this is not a particularly easy or fast read--one wants to linger over sentences and perhaps reread them--I heartily recommend this book to all those who value intriguing tales tolled wonderfully well. :