The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Though much has been said and written about this book by scores of readers, I’d still like to place on record my deepest admiration for the writer of this wonderful book.

The narrative follows the fortunes of Liesel, a young girl, who is sent to live with foster parents during the Second World War. Initially tormented by thoughts of her mother and dead brother, Liesel soon settles in to her new life, aided in large part by her foster father and her best friend, Rudy Steiner. All is well until one day, her father decides to hide a Jew in their basement. How does this affect Liesel?Why is she ‘the book thief’? You’ll find out.

Immensely evocative and gripping, the book is filled with imageries that overpower your senses and words that leave you shaking and trembling at times. Zusak has crafted a masterpiece, a legacy for the ages.

Wars are complex. For both sides. While we sympathised with a young Jewish girl in a secret hide-away earlier, here, we wait anxiously, hoping the German girl makes it through. It’s a massive shift of perspective and this makes it a must-read alongside ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank.

With sentences that cut through you and make you breathless, this novel threatens to leave you emotionally saturated. A roller coaster of a ride it is, as we partake in Liesel’s small joys, her heartbreaks and share her regrets.

Read. Now.

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