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Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Club Book Review: People Of The Book By Geraldine Brooks

This is my book review of the July book club pick People Of The Book by Geraldine Brooks

This book is also part of my 2016 reading challenge at 4/12 - a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. Although technically it wasn't recommend by a librarian but the book is dedicated to librarians so I think that is just as special!

This is a fictional story based around the real life history of an ancient Jewish religious text book called the Sarajevo Haggadah. The story is narrated by a 30 year old Australian woman Hannah, who is a rare book expert and offered a job of a lifetime to analyse the 500 year old Sarajevo Haggadah and to restore it ready to put it on display in a Museum in Sarajevo where it was found.

As Hannah works on the book she finds items such as a hair, grain of salt and marks within it's pages. The story then changes to a new chapter narrated by a new character telling the story and you discover how the items and marks got there as well as being transported to that time in history to find out where the book is, what was happening in the country at that time and how people kept the book safe.

From 1480 to 1996 the book traveled across various European countries and I found it difficult to keep up with where the book was and who was telling the story. I did find it interesting reading about our history - from torture techniques to burning books and religion, but it was mostly about the awful things that happened to the Jewish community throughout history.

Overall I liked the idea of this story but I felt that the chapters and characters weren't executed as well as it could have been. I also didn't really warm to the main character Hannah and felt her family dramas and love interests took away from the story.

I recommend this book to history buffs and librarians.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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  1. This book sounds like it'd be good, but also a little confusing! I always enjoy your reviews. You find some books that I have definitely not head of and other I want to read or have read. Keep them coming!! I am reading The Year We Turned Forty right now and I'm really enjoying it!


    1. It was the kind of book you had to concentrate while reading Carrie! This was picked by book club so we get a good variety with 8 of us taking turns to pick a book each month :)
      Your book sounds interesting, I might have to read it in a few years when I'm about the turn 40! x


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