We read this book last month at the Book Club and there were mixed reviews over it. Some people thought it was depressing or long, I actually mostly enjoyed it. Albeit there were some slow parts to the story but the I found the whole idea of the book quite original and inspiring even.
The book is based in the late 1930s in Germany, during World War II. The main character is Liesel Meminger, a young girl (not yet a teenager) who is fostered by a German couple. In their own unique ways, her foster mother and father provide a nurturing and loving environment for Liesel and this allows her to pursue her love for books. She is mostly accompanied by her best friend Rudy, who is also her partner in crime, and her bravery allows her to chase after her passion for reading and writing.
The book also entails Nazi Germany and the reality of the downward spiral of the Jewish people during that time. Liesel’s father allows a Jewish man to stay in their basement who soon becomes part of their family, as a favour to his late Jewish friend. Another courageous act which is a demonstrated throughout the book.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about “The Book Thief” is that it is narrated by Death. I know that sounds morbid but looking at Death’s perspective on World War II and Nazi Germany is fascinating. He outlines the story in a way that a human could never do and keeps the reader guessing with chapter ending cliff hangers.
In my opinion, the best part of this book is the idea of a young girl who, at the beginning of the book is hardly able to read or write, works so hard with a desire to learn. Her passion is motivating and her love for words drives her to steal books as her family is unable to provide her with many. This passion of hers ends up helping many distressed by the war and ultimately helps her to survive through such times.
Beautifully written but perhaps not the best holiday/ summer read! Save it for the winter rainy days 😉
Have any of you read The Book Thief?