People of the Book

People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks Hannah Heath, a rare book expert is called to Sarajevo in 1996 to take a look at the Haggadah, and illuminated Jewish religious volume. While restoring the book she discovers and insect wing, a wine stain, salt crystals and a single white hair. Her investigation into these clues leads the reader through not only through the history of the Haggadah, but through history itself. This is a fictionalized account of what may have been the Haggadah’s journey through time, but (and I may be mistaken here) I believe the Sarajevo Haggadah is a real illuminated volume.

The format of a character in present time making a discovery and then taking us through history is not a new concept for writing historical fiction (GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING is the first one I remember reading in this manner), but I find that I enjoy the backward path these books take to bring us back to the present.