For my fifth book of the challenge I ended up reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, the author of March. I have actually been meaning to read this book for years, so I’m glad I finally got around to it.
I guess it was only fitting that I finshed this book the day my great aunt died. Fitting because she was the last of the generation of Holocaust survivors from my family. She was 90 and passed away peacefully in her sleep. When my mom talked about her the next day, I immediately wanted to ask her to tell us the story of my great aunts’ and grandmother’s survivals. But we were on the way to the airport, I was flying home after the holidays, and didn’t want to laiden the early morning drive with more heaviness. I will ask her though, again and again until I know it by heart, because as that generation passes, I’m a little scared that we will forget, and I want to make sure we don’t.
It is fitting because this book touched on many instances on history when other cultures were feared and banished, including the Holocaust. Even though for the most part this novel focuses on the hardship of the Jews, it touches on times that were difficult for Muslims and Christians as well. It was an interesting read. I’ve heard it likened to The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and while I loved The Da Vinci Code, I do not agree with this comparison. This book is by no means an action-packed thriller. It’s an exploration of history though an artifact. I personally enjoyed the jumping back and forth between modern times and history. I thought it was tied together beautifully in the end. Although some people may consider this ending kitschy because it was a happy ending, I came away from the book with something more: the most beautiful historical artifacts came from the most prosperous periods of history which were periods of acceptance and coexistence.