This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Amanda Keats
The Book Thief follows young Liesel Merminger as she is handed over to foster parents by her mother not long before the outbreak of World War II. It is her story, but she is not the one telling it. Instead, the reader is taken on Liesel’s journey by Death himself.
When she arrives with her new mama and papa, Liesel cannot read but, thanks to both a book she found on grave digging and her papa’s help, she soon learns to appreciate the joy of reading and the beauty of the written word – that is until war breaks out and she realises the effect Hitler’s words have had on her beloved Germany and all who reside within its borders.
Liesel is a character forced to mature far beyond her years, with the loss of her brother and mother weighing on her from the outset and the threat of war looming. It is when her calm and nice father decides to take in a Jew and hide him in the basement that she really starts to come out of her shell. It is a lot of responsibility for her young shoulders to take on, but she manages to find the beauty in the everyday and wants desperately to share as much of it as she can with her new friend Max.When a book is described to you as one of the greatest novels ever written, it has a lot to live up to, but this incredible book certainly managed to live up to the hype. The insane concept of having Death be your narrator is executed flawlessly by Zusak, who manages to bring both the humour and curiosity of youth and the horror and courage of wartime. The power of words was never more evident than in The Book Thief. It is a tragic, haunting and beautiful novel, the memory of which will linger long after you read the last page.
Markus Zusak's Website
The Book Thief is February's selection for the book vs film club where we get together to see the film, having read the book, and discuss! For more information, email Amanda at email@example.com or tweet her at @filmvsbook.