In Jacqui's CD Player ...

Just started listening to ... People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Synopsis: From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war.

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artefacts in its ancient binding an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair she begins to unlock the book's mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book's journey from its salvation back to its creation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-si├Ęcle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city's rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah's extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna's investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.

Just finished listening to ... The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton
Synopsis: This was Kate Morton's debut novel set in England between the wars. It is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.

The novel is full of secrets ... some revealed, others hidden forever. It is also a meditation on memory, the devastation of war and a beautifully rendered window into a fascinating time in history.

Jacqui's Review: I am falling in love with Kate Morton's stories.  Her ability to conjure images through the written word are exquisite.  This book delivers in every way, full of melodrama, mystery and love, you couldn't ask for more.  3.5 out of 5.

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