Death tells the story of the Book Thief: Liesel, a young girl who, after the death of her brother, gets dropped off by her mother with a foster family because her mother risks to be carted off to a concentration camp. While World War II takes Liesel’s surroundings in Bavaria and her foster parents hide a Jew, Max, in their basement, she and her best friend Rudy are more taken with a little mischief. And Liesel is inexorably drawn to books, even when or maybe especially when she has to steal them.
It took me the first 100 pages to get into this book. But when I did, it really was worth it. It’s a wonderful, touching thing of beauty.
Zusak stays in Liesel’s small village the entire time and somehow manages to pack the entire tragedy of the war into that smaller scale. This changes two things: Because it is not an abstract, huge thing, it shows the normality of live during the war and it just carries more punch.
During my holidays there were two books that had me crying my eyes out, while I lay in the sun on a beautiful beach and this was the first one. Fucking Rudy Steiner, heart breaker. Really. And of course Hans Hubermann, Liesel’s foster dad.
The story, as I said, is nothing grand. It shows the extraordinary in the ordinary. And it made me fall in love with pretty much every single one of the characters, so I really got in deep.
And then I wept.
Summarizing: really, really good.