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A Reflection on The Book Thief

Book Review

By StaringalePublished 2 months ago 3 min read
A Reflection on The Book Thief
Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on Unsplash

Book Stats: The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak, was published in 2005.

Curled up on the sofa beside the fireplace, I began reading the book in the silence of the room. The tick-tock of the grandfather clock provided a lulling backdrop, allowing me to immerse myself in the story. A 'dong' from the clock told me an hour had passed, and I was done with the book. Here's my opinion on it.

The story is narrated by Death, and it is heart-wrenching, deep, and emotional. The protagonist is a girl named Liesel Meminger, who is living in foster care in Nazi Germany during World War II. She becomes exposed to the horrors of the war and sees the impact of the deteriorating political situation. At this time, her foster parents conceal a Jewish man in the basement of their home. The foster father teaches Liesel to read and write, resulting in Liesel learning that words hold power that can both salvage and destroy. This causes Liesel to steal books, even though it is a risk to her life. The books become her source of comfort during the horrors of war.

The story also shows that humanity can exist even in the darkest of times, as Liesel forms a friendship with the Jewish man that is hiding in their home. It shows that in times of turmoil, deep connections are formed, and the safety of others is put first, as we can see when the Jewish man leaves the house so that the family can stay safe. The author brilliantly enlightens us with the knowledge that no one escapes war unscathed. Liesel, working on a manuscript in the basement, becomes a sole survivor as a raid on their home kills her foster parents and her Jewish friend. Her manuscript becomes lost in the war, and many years later, when she died as an old lady, she still remembers her foster parents and Max, showing that the war leaves behind mental scars that you carry throughout your life. As her soul is collected by Death, she is given the manuscript that she lost in the war.

The story portrays the psychological impact of war on the individual and explores the resilience of the human spirit and the ways in which literature can inspire hope and connection. A negative point in the book is that it is slow-paced. It should have been fast-paced because that is the biggest impact of war that tells about the uncertainty of life during wartime. But despite all that, it has a profound effect on its reader as it explores the themes of love, loss, and resilience. Giving the reader the knowledge that even in challenging circumstances, words hold power, bringing comfort, solace, and hope in the face of adversity. It also reminds us of the importance of empathy and how human connection, kindness, and compassion can bring a major difference in the lives of others.

Overall, I can say that this story serves as a poignant reminder of the horrors of war and the human capacity for cruelty, hatred, and suffering. It evokes reflection on the consequences of prejudice and the value of standing up against injustice. It tells its reader about the value of freedom of expression, leaving a lasting impact by prompting its reader to consider the significance of their own actions and choices in shaping a more compassionate and just world. I would definitely recommend this book for reading, so if you have time to spare, go ahead and read it.

Getting up and stretching out to get the blood flowing through my numb legs, I put the book on the shelf and headed off to sleep. Goodnight!

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