Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Club Night

A few of us gathered at the East End branch to discuss this month's selection, The Book Thief. It was a different kind of book, one that I would not have picked up. Classified as Young Adult, it appeals to readers of all ages.

Set in Nazi Germany, the book is narrated by Death, who tells the story of Liesel Meminger, her foster family and friends. A bit disconcerting at first, but I adapted to Death's voice. At times, he appeared almost human. I could easily visualize him holding souls in his hands and interacting with the newly dead.

Unlike many other books of that period, the story is told from the German perspective. We see glimpses of the horror and bleakness of those days. But we also see many sparks of compassion and humanity among the poor German people living on Himmel Street in a small town outside of Munich.

Liesel, the protagonist of the novel, has a growing need for books and resorts to stealing them. Illiterate at first, she learns to read and later starts writing, using a strong, powerful voice.

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