People of the Book

09 Dec

Brooks uses the true story of an ancient Jewish book saved by a Muslim museum curator during the Bosnian war as a jumping off point to take the reader on a sweeping, if fitful, journey through the centuries.

In the spirit of novels which imagine the realities behind works of art such as Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, Brooks uses clues found in the binding of the ancient work to fashion a creation story, one that unblinkingly exposes the reader to the separate and intertwined struggles of Jews and Muslims, especially as they attempted to navigate a harsh Christian world.

A bit choppy as it jumps back and forth between present day and days past, the novel also has a disingenuous foray into romance which hits a false note.

But, when it’s focused on its primary mission, that of detailing the past, the book finds its groove.

By Bridget

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in fiction


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