Unformatted text preview: lsa Hermann’s.
She didn’t know why it was so important, but she enjoyed the fact that the roomful of books belonged to the
woman. It was she who introduced her to the library in the first place and gave her the initial, even literal,
window of opportunity. This way was better. It all seemed to fit.
Just as she began to move again, she propped everything and asked, “This is your room, isn’t it?”
The mayor’s wife tightened. “I used to read in here, with my son. But then . . .”
Liesel’s hand touched the air behind her. She saw a mother reading on the floor with a young boy pointing at
the pictures and the words. Then she saw a war at the window. “I know.”
An exclamation entered from outside.
“What did you say?!”
Liesel spoke in a harsh whisper, behind her. “Keep quiet, Saukerl, and watch the street.” To Ilsa Hermann, she
handed the words slowly across. “So all these books . . .”
“They’re mostly mine. Some are my husband’s, some were my son’s, as you know.”
There was embarrassment now on Liesel’s behalf. Her cheeks were set alight. “I always thought this was the
“Why?” The woman seemed amused.
Liesel noticed that there were also swastikas on the toes of her slippers. “He’s the mayor. I thought he’d read a
The mayor’s wife placed her hands in her side pockets. “Lately, it’s you who gets the most use out of this
“Have you read this one?” Liesel held up The Last Human Stranger.
Ilsa looked more closely at the title. “I have, yes.”
There was an itch to leave then, but also a peculiar obligation to stay. She moved to speak, but the available
words were too many and too fast. There were several attempts to snatch at them, but it was the mayor’s wife
who took the initiative. She saw Rudy’s face in the window, or more to the point, his candlelit hair. “I think you’d better go,” she said.
“He’s waiting for you.”
On the way home, they ate.
“Are you sure there wasn’t anything...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13