People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Hannah, an Australian specialist in preserving old manuscripts is invited to
I was nevertheless somewhat disappointed by this book. Brooks did a whale of a job of research so that, though the book is fiction, all of the periods of history in the past of the Sarajevo Haggadah were recreated in authentic and believable detail. But there’s more to fiction than research and believable historical detail and I felt that Brooks sacrificed human truths in favor of historical truths. Hannah’s story is complex, but somehow bloodless. I understood what happened to her, but didn’t feel it. The many many historical contributors to the manuscript were also believable, but most existed only in one dimension, in one chapter of the book. Characters rarely “live” with that little exposure.