Book 31 of 2014: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
This book should have been tailor-made for me, but somehow it wasn’t, quite. It sounded perfect: a precious book (the Sarajevo Haggadah), sweeping historical narrative, gender and religious differences across time. And it was very good. I liked the present-day heroine, who was smart and prickly and passionate about her work. I liked the mystery aspect, and the way each historical fiction section was linked to a specific mark or stain on the book. It was a compelling read, never dull. I wanted to know the answers.
But. There was a kind of too-neat-ness to some of the characters. They sometimes seemed more like types than people. Every culture was represented, and every character represented a culture.
It just didn’t quite connect, for me. It was a well-made book, a good yarn, a fun read. But it wasn’t great.