I purchased this book over a year ago. It came highly recommended to me by a few people with similar taste in books to my own. After I’d bought it, I’d been reluctant to read it – it just looked so gloomy. Everything about the book looks sad, and for the most part, it was.
The story was narrated by the voice of death and took place in Germany during the Second World War. The heroine is a young girl who is orphaned when her mother is interned by the Nazi party for being a communist. It’s on the way to her new home that she steals a book, despite the fact that she can’t read.
Her new home is an impoverished neighbourhood of suburban Munich. Although she is haunted by her past, with her new family she is educated and well cared for. Together they all struggle to survive under tyranny and suffer for a cause they really don’t believe in. Though it all, she finally learns to read and nurtures her passion for book thievery.
I’m simplifying, of course. It’s a difficult book to summarize but one of the best novels I’ve read this year, so far. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.