Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review - People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Title: People of the Book
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Year: 2008
Page: 372
Genre: Fiction - Historical

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated prayer book through centuries of war, destruction, theft, loss, and love.

First Sentence:
I might as well say, right from the jump: it wasn't my usual kind of job.

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • My coworker recommended it, when another coworker and I were talking about books and she wanted some recommendations. I have heard of it before (positive) and thought it sounded intriguing - a bit of an adventure and solving puzzles. I have never read The DaVinci Code, but had watched the movie and like the genre. So thought this book might be similar.
First thought:
  • Argh. 
Cover Art:
  • Couldn't figure out what it was at first. Was it a butterfly? Was it a fish? Thought it could have been better.
  • The title definitely sounded interesting, especially appealing to a reader!
  •   The beginning was engaging. But then it slowed and dragged on...
  • I found that I liked it better when the parts of the story were written first person. The parts written in third person... I ended up skimping parts of the book because those parts bored me. 

  • The book alternated between past and present. The parts about the past had different setting and time frame. They were supposed to provide the background of the book throughout its history at different point in time. Because of that, those parts also read like short stories, which I don't like reading. Thus the book seemed disjoint.
  • Felt indifferent about them... the part I liked best was probably the slang the main protagonist used - she was Australian, so every so often you saw Aussie slang like Woop Woop and Bloody. I lived in Australia for 13 years so I liked the familiarity (and made me miss my friends back home - though since I have lived in 3 countries, I am not quite sure where home is anymore).
  • Okay... almost uneventful for me. 
  • Didn't feel much really... 
What I Learned:
  • The most interesting part was probably about book conservation. I wished the story devoted a bit more to it
  • I almost abandoned this book... but wanted to find out what happened so ended up skimping parts of it instead. Maybe if this was a movie I'd have liked it better.
Read this Author again?
  • Maybe not... March, about the father of "Little Women" sounded kinda interesting, but I don't know if I'd get bored or not...


Overall Rating:
2 Stars. Not for me. Historical fiction is 50-50 for me. I am usually glad to learn something from history, but since it's usually a genre I am interested in, it has to be done in a very entertaining way to capture my attention.

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