Published in 2008. 372 pages.
People of the Book was March's selection for Book Buddies. I was not familiar with either the book or the author before this, but I am very glad that I participated!
The novel, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, is an imagined history of the Hebrew codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah. A story about Aussie book conservator Hanna Heath is interspersed with five stories about the Hebrew manuscript itself, moving backward through time from World War II to 1480.
Other than some mild disappointment by the ending of the book, I enjoyed this novel greatly. To me the message both of People of the Book and the Sarajevo Haggadah is summarized well by Ozren, one of the book's characters:
You know I am not a religious man. But Hanna, I have spent many nights, lying awake here in this room, thinking that the haggadah came to Sarajevo for a reason. It was here to test us, to see if there were people who could see that what united us was more than what divided us. That to be a human being matters more than to be a Jew or a Muslim, Catholic or Orthodox. [p. 361]
You can see my responses to some of the Book Buddies discussion questions about People of the Book (and some of our other reads too) here. But be forewarned: there are spoilers there, as the discussion is based on the premise that the participants have already read the book.