Running Rachael has started a great book club at work. It’s great to be able to spend an extended lunch time with friends and colleagues* chatting about literature and life and generally relaxing in the middle of a hectic work day.
The latest offering that we have read is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It really is a good one and before I go further I would thoroughly recommend it. It is quirky and is written and edited with such innovation that your attention is kept and you remain eager to see how events will unfold.
The setting is intriguing as it portrays life in a regular German town with regular German people but during the surreal experiences of the Second World War. For me the fascination in this is that in Britain we are so preoccupied with our perspective of the Second World War that we don’t think about what life would have been like in Germany and the book suggests that life was pretty hellish. It wasn’t just air raids and rationing. Germans had to deal with a nationalistic political fervour that demanded adherance and dolled out horrific consequences for those who did not make the right choices.
Liesel, the protagonist, is a delightful character who captures your heart from the off and takes you on a childhood journey of growth, survival, loss and love. The concept of Death as narrator is ingenious and allows for an easy fluidity from story telling to philosophising. Although tragic from the start the tone is heart warming and generates a real confidence in the potential of humanity in the midst of the absolute worst that our species has to offer.
Out of interest, the film adaption is out in cinemas in the next month or so starring Geoffrey Rush.
*The colleagues referred to are also friends, I’m not suggesting some are friends and some are colleagues!