October 2, 2018

Reading Group report-People of the Book

Do you know what a Haggadah is ? Have you heard of the Haggadah of Sarajevo ?

I guess that many of you, as in our book group, would answer in the negative. This novel is based on a true story and is a story of loss, of adventure, of rediscovery, of bravery. It is a story of cruelty, of humiliation, of suffering and of romance. Add to that scholarship, detailed analysis of ancient manuscripts, craftsmanship and of a time when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together without rancour and persecution ….Sounds good?

The details of the actual history of the Haggadah, created in Spain in the 15th Century, are sketchy of course, so the author has painstakingly researched and created several stories within one story. Some of us really enjoyed that aspect, others had some misgivings and felt it seemed contrived..attempting to include too much and losing the thread of what was a miraculous history of a sacred book.

As always we had our differing views about this novel. It is certainly worth a read, prepare for a long haul but I can guarantee that you will learn something you previously didn’t know…and that has to be good ! It is for you to find out the origins and purpose of the Haggadah, pronounced hag.ahd.dah. You will find it interesting I am certain! We gave a score of 71/2 at our meeting on Monday.  Submitted by Corinne Gregory

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