For quite awhile I’d been hearing buzz about Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and how amazingly good it was, and that I should move it to the top of my TBR pillar-to-the-sky. Since I’ve been reading a lot these days about World War 2 for the novel I’m writing, I figured I had two reasons to move it up the pillar, one being the acclaim I kept hearing, and the second being I could classify it as research.
I hadn’t read the back cover copy or any reviews. I didn’t know who would be telling the story nor even who the stealer of books was, so I was unprepared for the first few pages. Lost, even. I hesitate to even tell you why I was lost lest I tell you too much and you miss out on the extraordinary experience of learning for yourself who the narrator is. In fact, if you haven’t yet read any reviews of the book, DON’T. Stop with this one. I will barely tell you anything other than you will be moved to your core.
Perhaps this will be enough to whet your appetite to read it. Goodreads says The Book Thief is the unforgettable story “about the ability of books to feed the soul.”
The short premise is this: “Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.”
The story takes place in the years of the second World War, on the streets of a little German village populated by ordinary people who love their children and their homes and meals around the table and birthdays and music and literature.
It is shelved as YA lit, meaning it was written for young adults, but the themes and the prose inside the pages are timeless enough for an adult of any age.
It’s a book about love and family and sacrifice.
It’s a book about books.
It didn’t really happen, but it could have.
It will steal a piece of your heart forever.
There. Is that enough for you?
And because this beautifully crafted trailer will not spoil anything for you, do enjoy. The movie comes out in November, but do read the book first. Put it at the top of your pillar, readers. I think you will be glad you did.
And if you’ve read it, I would sure love to hear what you think if you can tell me without sharing any spoilers…