Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Book Review: The People of the Book
Now, this novel is not great for it's literary style but for it's story that zips from one country and century to another in an effort to explain the origins of the very famous Haggadah of Sarajevo. A Haggadah is the text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover, including a narrative of the Exodus. This particular Haggadah exists and is one of the oldest Sephardic Haggadahs in the world, originating in Barcelona around 1350. (Wikipedia)
This read was a great learning experience for me, an adventure into ancient Jewish culture from Spain to Bosnia with visits to several other locations in between. We follow Hanna Heath, an Australian book conservator who is responsible for restoring the Haggadah. The story alternates between sections set in the present day with Heath and other sections showing the history of the Haggadah linked to tiny evidences found in the book by Heath whilst conducting her investigation.
For this and it's educational value, I give it 4+ stars out of 5.