By Geraldine Brooks
Another compelling novel from the fantastic Geraldine Brooks. This one follows the path of a haggadah, a Jewish religious text, and the people who helped create, pass on, alter and restore it. The storyline alternates between current times as a rare book conservator is commissioned to work on the recently unearthed and extremely valuable codex, and the moments in history when the book has been owned, altered, and passed between Christian, Jewish and Muslim hands. Brooks’ roots as an investigative reporter in the Middle East and Europe serve her well here as the story of the book unravels and crosses borders from Jerusalem, Sarajevo, Venice, Seville and Vienna. Families come alive, the intermingling and alternating peace and war between religious groups paints the background for the human, person-to-person interactions.
This book is just a beautiful commentary on the cyclical nature of history, the importance of the written word, and wondrous thing that is our shared humanity.