Books come to us in many different ways. Sometimes a favorite author gifts us with something new. Other times a friend recommends a book. At times a buzz surrounds a book and we jump in the fray to see what it’s all about. The best books are the ones we stumble upon, they appeal to us on a personal level and regardless of the hype, or lack thereof, we are drawn to its pages. The latter is how I came to read The Book Thief.
Blurb taken from Goodreads:
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
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.
Stories about people enduring hardship appeal to me because they prove humans are resilient. There are times when I think resilience abandoned me and the reminder that others have survived far worse than what I experience puts me back on track.
With Death as a narrator, we learn about Liesel. She’s extraordinary on so many levels, the epitome of resilience, a witness to history. While death collects souls, Leisel steals books. Though a war ravages the world around her, this young girl finds joy in the simplest of things: books, friends, an accordion and a Jewish man that hides in her foster parents’ basement. The unfairness of life keeps pushing her down, but she won’t stay. Her spirit is strong. So strong, that Death comes to admire her.
The Book Thief is one of those books that can only be described as beautiful, even though the subject matter is dark and harsh. Markus Zusak tells a story of colors, mixing stains of fear with shades of joy. The characters are so real and believable one might think Zusak knew them personally, maybe even walked in their shoes.
Though Death sometimes reveals things out of order, it doesn’t take away from the telling of the story. I truly enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone.