Monday, March 16, 2009

By the Chapter, Day 1 - People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

I'm excited to be sharing hosting duties for this week's edition of By The Chapter. Marcia hosts this fun weekly event at The Printed Page, and this week I get to play along with her! We will be reading and discussing People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

Synopsis from publisher:

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-siele 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.

This week's reading schedule:

Monday - Marcia, at The Printed Page

Tuesday - Me! I'll be posting my thoughts about the book so far.

Wednesday - Marcia again, at The Printed Page

Thursday - Me again! More of my thoughts, likes and dislikes.

Friday - Marcia, at The Printed Page, and ME!! We'll both be wrapping up our thoughts on the novel.

Do you think we will both like it? Hate it? Maybe we'll have a flame war!! (HAH!) Stop by The Printed Page today for the beginning of our discussion. If you've read the book, or would like to read along with us, leave a comment! See you back here tomorrow.

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

I have this one on my shelves, but have put off reading it because I am hoping that my newly formed book-club will choose it for our discussion. I may not be able to hold out though! I am anxious to read what you think of it, and will be following the blog tour with interest. Thanks!