The Book Thief
By, Markus Zusak
This book has been on my “Need to Read” list for probably two or three years. I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction from WWII era. I knew I would like this book, but I also knew I was going to need to be ready for whatever this book held. Somehow I knew it wasn’t going to be a light read.
I was right.
This book includes sorry, pain, joy, hope, love, excitement, horror and themes of redemption, forgiveness, regret, and second chances weave their way through the story.
The main character is a young girl named Liesel. The books starts out with her own story of family loss, arrival at a new foster home and survival in a seemingly hostile home. Her new ‘Papa’ teaches how to read and she finds a hunger that can’t be stopped in her. She begins to steel books, partly for the excitement and partly because she “needs” more to read and fill her mind.
Her life gets more complicated as her foster parents hide a jew in their basement. She knows a secret that puts their lives in grave danger, and yet she develops a new friendship with this young man. She shares her books with him. She shares her life with him and she is torn for how she hates the danger she is in because of him. But increasing danger comes to Germany as the Allies begin the bombings and how the written word even helps her survive and she helps those around her.
I can’t tell all of the story or how it ends up. It isn’t a beautiful ending all tied up in a nice bow, but it offers much to think about and compassion for the so many lives lost during this tumultuous time in Germany and the rest of the world. I’m glad I read it and it’s also nice to mark it off my list!