As I mentioned in my last post, I stepped out on Tim Robbins and his Jitterbug Perfume more than once.  When his masculine aggression proved too much, I sought and found comfort in the arms of female authors, namely Geraldine Brooks and Barbara Kingsolver.  Both women have given us great works of historical fiction, a genre to be admired as much for its educational value as its artistic expression. Brooks weaves multiple stories around the Sarajevo Haggadah in People of the Book.  It begins in modern times with the rediscovery of the ancient codex thought to be destroyed. A book conservator, Hanna Heath, is called in to study the text.  From there, the tale winds forward and backward in time. The trace bits of evidence Hanna finds within the pages of the codex unveil stories of those who passed book hand-to-hand from its creation in the 14th century to its present-day setting.  That the Sarajeva Haggadah has survived the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the Bosnian War, is amazing to me. Today’s technology renders the printed word almost as common and available as air with mass production and electronic media. Yet here also exists this scripture, this singular, cherished work, meticulously crafted, and lovingly protected for all of these centuries.

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