It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The whole nation is under attack. Death is busier than ever.
Liesel Meminger is a nine-year-old girl who just lost her little brother and is now forced to live with a new foster family on Himmel Street in Molching, Germany. Her new father teaches her how to read, plays the accordion and loves her very dearly. Her mother does too, although she prefers to hide it.
Liesel discovers her love for reading and starts stealing books. Death tells us her story and that of her neighbors when the bombs begin to fall.
The book is told from Death’s perspective. This gives the whole story a gruesome, yet beautiful feel. Death has a way of telling a horrible story in a lovely way.
I started reading this book when I was waiting for my train in Paris. The book wasn’t mine, so when the train departed, I had to put it away. A couple of months later, when walking through Cobham in England, it stared at me from a lonely window. So I purchased it.
Since then, I read it three times. Every time I discover more beauty than the last. There is not one thing that I do not love about this book. I like the occasional explanation of German words, the small facts about the characters, the characters themselves. This book defines the art of writing. Markus Zusak is a true genius for creating such a story from scratch.
I highly recommend this book, even if you are not into books about the war. It is a truly unique and beautiful story that needs to be shared as much as possible.
The book was made into a film in 2013. A link to the trailer can be found below.
First published by Black Swan in 2005