East Valley Book Club July Meetup

Well, I missed the May meeting (insert my saddest sad face here) but I heard that the discussion was great!

For July we have chosen People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

Here is what Publishers Weekly has to say:

Reading Geraldine Brooks's remarkable debut novel, Year of Wonders, or more recently March, which won the Pulitzer Prize, it would be easy to forget that she grew up in Australia and worked as a journalist. Now in her dazzling new novel, People of the Book, Brooks allows both her native land and current events to play a larger role while still continuing to mine the historical material that speaks so ardently to her imagination. Late one night in the city of Sydney, Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call. The Sarajevo Haggadah, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to report on its condition. Missing documents and art works (as Dan Brown and Lev Grossman, among others, have demonstrated) are endlessly appealing, and from this inviting premise Brooks spins her story in two directions. In the present, we follow the resolutely independent Hanna through her thrilling first encounter with the beautifully illustrated codex and her discovery of the tiny signs-a white hair, an insect wing, missing clasps, a drop of salt, a wine stain-that will help her to discover its provenance. Along with the book she also meets its savior, a Muslim librarian named Karaman. Their romance offers both predictable pleasures and genuine surprises, as does the other main relationship in Hanna's life: her fraught connection with her mother. In the other strand of the narrative we learn, moving backward through time, how the codex came to be lost and found, and made. From the opening section, set in Sarajevo in 1940, to the final section, set in Seville in 1480, these narratives show Brooks writing at her very best. With equal authority she depicts the struggles of a young girl to escape the Nazis, a duel of wits between an inquisitor and a rabbi living in the Venice ghetto, and a girl's passionate relationship with her mistress in a harem. Like the illustrations in the Haggadah, each of these sections transports the reader to a fully realized, vividly peopled world. And each gives a glimpse of both the long history of anti-Semitism and of the struggle of women toward the independence that Hanna, despite her mother's lectures, tends to take for granted. Brooks is too good a novelist to belabor her political messages, but her depiction of the Haggadah bringing together Jews, Christians and Muslims could not be more timely. Her gift for storytelling, happily, is timeless.

I have moved this meeting from July 4th to the 11th, assuming that most will have something else to do on the 4th, so I look forward to seeing you and discussing this well-reviewed novel!

 

Shelly Y. Hughes-Tetu

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed our time together, especially meeting the new attendees. Good discussion of a book I enjoyed.

    July 12, 2013

  • GinMarie

    Great discussion, friendly welcoming people, I really liked the group.

    July 11, 2013

  • Jessi M.

    Not going to make it to this one. I have not had a chance to read the book

    July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I borrowed People of the Book from a member from Casa Grande at the May meet and I don't remember her name. I will bring the book the book July. I hope we can get together.

    July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to cancel, will check in next mo.

    July 10, 2013

  • Lyndy G.

    I can't make it anymore! I will for sure be there for the August meetup. Have a great time!

    July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am leaving on vacation the next day and will be unable to make it. I look forward to the next book. This one is quite intriguing.

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It took me a while to get interested in this book, but I've just read the first 100 pages and now I'm hooked. It really is an interesting book. Looking forward to meeting everyone on the 11th.

    June 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry to have missed the June meeting. I am enjoying The People of the Book. I'd like to know the book that was chosen for August so that I can get a head start.

    June 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be there for the first time. Looking forward to meeting all of you. Do we meet in the back room?

    June 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds like a fascinating read. Can't wait to get to the part in 1480 Seville, I visited Spain and Seville, looking forward to reading her take.

    May 27, 2013

  • kate

    Love People of the Book...... I have high expectations for this book

    May 27, 2013

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