by Sarah Wildman

The Sarajevo Haggadah

A bibliophilic adventure

Hanna Heath, the heroine of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (Viking Press, $25.95), is an Australian conservator who has a strained relationship with her mother and an appreciation, bordering on obsession, for the finer details of historic texts. An expert in ancient Hebrew and Arabic, Hanna is called to Sarajevo, towards the end of the most recent Balkan War in 1996, to preserve and analyze the illuminated 14th century Sarajevo Haggadah, which has just surfaced from years in hiding — protected during the war by a Muslim librarian.

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