Markus Zusak

Rarely have I been as moved to tears as I was by the words in this book.

(I say this with a sigh as I am often reduced to tears by words- in both a good way and also by painfully bad words put together to form even worse sentences....)

For a book that seems initially quite superficial, presenting us with 'small facts' and 'translations' by the author (who maybe not so superficially is death himself) it fills your thoughts and emotions with soft colours, imprints of words and a narrative that transcends the atmosphere of war in which it is set.

The story centres upon Liesel Meminger, a girl shaped by her difficult past and difficult present, struggling between what is beautiful and what is so capable of taking that beauty away.
She finds herself in a new town, on a new street, full of new faces and the same shared struggles. It is mid-WW2 Germany and Molching and its many inhabitants are carrying on with life as if there is no other option.
Liesel finds solice in words, some of which she finds in books, some of which she writes, some of which she finds written in Mein Kampf by a fist fighting Jew hidden in her basement.

The relationships she has with her family- her mother Rosa and father Hans are central to the events of Liesels teenage hood, helping her to bear the weight she carries. The bonds she shares- especially with her father Hans, Max the Jew and her best friend Rudy are strong and heavy holding a firm grip on the readers heart.

If your love for words carried you to this book, then Liesels passion for books seeps into Zusak's words and his narrative keeps you gripping the pages, waiting for each event to unfold. The knowledge that the events are set in a dark and horrific time cannot detract from the beauty of each small moment which helps a young girl through each day.

ahh the beauty of moments and the words that describe them...

1 comment:

mysteriousfriend said...

I like the bit when he talks about how Rudy Steiner must have loved Leisel Meminger so hard. I like the idea of loving someone hard and being loved by somebody hard... x