War. It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. Soon, she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down. “The Book Thief” is a story about the power of words and the ability of books to feed the soul. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author, Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
Written by Death, one reader liked his character- compassionate, witty and not utterly bleak.
Very impressive – so well written that I couldn’t put it down – very rich in texture. Continue reading
This month the Group read Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville.
Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. She grows up in the fine house her father is so proud of, a strong-willed young woman who’s certain where her future lies. She’s known Jack Langland since she was a child, and always loved him. But the past is waiting in ambush with its dark legacy. There’s a secret in Sarah’s family, a piece of the past kept hidden from the world and from her. A secret Jack can’t live with…
Most of the group enjoyed the book. Some thought that the characters ‘did not speak to them’.
Many, who had read ‘The Secret River’, did not find this book as good. The first book was well researched and well written.
Sarah Thornhill reminded one reader of Mary in ‘The Potato Factory’. But having read ‘Sarah Thornhill’ before ‘The Secret River’ this may have influenced her.
The book brought out the alienation, dispossession, prejudice and the lack of empathy towards indigenous people. The themes of guilt and regret and the family rifts that were caused well portrayed. Some understood that the evil of William Thornhill could not ever be forgiven by his son, Dick. Continue reading