Book Reviews,  Europe,  FICTION,  Jewish History,  Judaism/Jewish Culture

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks **** (of 4)

An extensively researched fictional account of the survival of the Sarajevo Haggadah, the luminescently illustrated (that alone is unusual for a Jewish book) account of the Jewish escape from Egyptian bondage read at the Passover Seder. First printed in the1480s the book survives the Inquisition, 400 years of European travel, World War I, an attempt by the Nazis to steal it from the Sarajevo library in World War II, and the seige of Sarajevo. The story of the book conservator created by Geraldine Brooks to provide the clues to the Haggadah’s history is a little too modern, but it is forgiveable because the historical accounting is simultaneously so well researched and richly portrayed. February 2008.