Ever since arriving in London almost four years ago, I’ve been intrigued by World War ll history. I’m not quite sure what it is, or why: perhaps it was visiting the city of Berlin and taking in all its history, or talking to German colleagues about growing up in the country where it all began.
History for me, was learning about the Tudors and Stewarts. High school history lessons were about the beheading of Charles 1 and the reign of Elizabeth 1. It was also about NZ history – but that’s no surprise given my mother’s occupation! But there were no classes relating to WW ll – that I can remember attending anyway!
Much has been written about this era of history, which is perhaps why The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak instantly became a favourite... it was so different. A story of WW ll from the perspective we’d never read about before – that of death. Yet, it was so real, so charming, and so absorbing.
Following the exploits of Liesel and Rudy, I felt as if I was tiptoeing around the streets, sneaking in and out of windows trying not to make a sound, and flipping through the pages of the sketchbook. It was as if I was going downstairs to visit Max, hidden away in the basement of Liesel’s foster parents home. If a footstep was heard overhead, I heard it too. If the breeze moved the curtains in the windows, I felt the rustle of the material myself.
The Book Thief is a sweet book, set in a dark time; a book of friendship set when it seemed trust was non-existent; it’s a book that will capture you, charm you, and leave you unable to think of anything else, but finding the time to devour it just one more time.
If you haven’t already read The Book Thief, add it to the top of the pile now – it deserves pride of place!