time will tell

People of the Book  by Geraldine Brooks 2008 (372 pgs)

A riveting novel that explores the way that objects connect people through time. In the wartorn mid-1990s the Sarajevo Haggadah, a precious 500-year-old religious text, has resurfaced. A restorer is rushed in to evaluate its condition and make any necessary repairs. The years of wear and the small pieces of debris she finds are clues that tell the history of the text’s survival if only she can connect them. Brooks uses these clues to jump progressively further back in time to tell the stories of various people tied to the historic text. Each vignette is so richly drawn that they could easily be stand-alone novellas; when used to tell the single tale of the life of the Haggadah itself, the novel forms an intricate latticework of history that is much more than the sum of its parts.

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