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People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
With People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks uses a novel to tell the story of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah. It dates back to the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th century, and unlike most Haggadahs (which are a collection of prayers, poems and stories about the Exodus traditionally recited, read and sung during Seder), it contains 24 pages of medieval illuminations. In 1996 while the Bosnian conflict still raged, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert is hired to restore the Sarajevo Haggadah. As she restores the book and researches its provenance, the novel moves back in time to show how it survived the different eras where its existence was threatened. This Jewish treasure was even saved by Muslims during the Bosnian conflict and World War II. People of the Book has received positive reviews with the Los Angeles Times saying, "Geraldine Brooks has, however, half-found and half-invented a swashbuckling book and, despite occasional quirks, woven a tale that's haunting and satisfying. Her Sarajevo Haggadah embodies both the story of the survival of the Jews against terrible odds and the story of all thinking people's relationship to the past."