People of the Book

People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks Greater than the contents contained in a book is the story of a particular book's journey; its 'provenance', if you will. Sprinkled throughout history are perilous rescue or salvage accounts of sacred books. Protected at great expense of life and freedom, these volumes are secreted away, to be kept safe from harm or destruction. Sometimes, the unlikeliest of candidates become the book's new guardian(s).

The Sarajevo Haggadah is a real manuscript (one of Judaism's oldest) owned by the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this fictionalized account, a book conservator embarks on a restoration project, and in doing so finds physical clues immortalized in the leafs of the tome. Each of those pointers would, under modern and scientific methods of testing, divulge some answers. However, the entire story would forever be lost to antiquity. Alternating between the modern day and the past, this tells the imagined journey of the book, and how each of those clues came to be embedded in its pages. The Haggadah is read during Passover, and in its own way, this story tells of a different persecution and exodus of the same people.