This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: the minute she returned home. In the
wooden chair next to her bed, she opened the book and whispered, “It’s a new one, Max. Just for you.” She
started reading. “ ‘Chapter one: It was quite fitting that the entire town was sleeping when the dream carrier was
born. . . .’ ”
Every day, Liesel read two chapters of the book. One in the morning before school and one as soon as she came
home. On certain nights, when she was not able to sleep, she read half of a third chapter as well. Sometimes she
would fall asleep slumped forward onto the side of the bed.
It became her mission.
She gave The Dream Carrier to Max as if the words alone could nourish him. On a Tuesday, she thought there
was movement. She could have sworn his eyes had opened. If they had, it was only momentarily, and it was
more likely just her imagination and wishful thinking.
By mid-March, the cracks began to appear.
Rosa Hubermann—the good woman for a crisis—was at breaking point one afternoon in the kitchen. She raised
her voice, then brought it quickly down. Liesel stopped reading and made her way quietly to the hall. As close
as she stood, she could still barely make out her mama’s words. When she was able to hear them, she wished
she hadn’t, for what she heard was horrific. It was reality.
THE CONTENTS OF MAMA’S VOICE
“What if he doesn’t wake up?
What if he dies here, Hansi?
Tell me. What in God’s name will
we do with the body? We can’t
leave him here, the smell will
kill us . . . and we can’t carry
him out the door and drag him up
the street, either. We can’t just
say, ‘You’ll never guess what we
found in our basement this morning. . . .’
They’ll put us away for good.”
She was absolutely right.
A Jewish corpse was a major problem. The Hubermanns needed to revive Max Vandenburg not only for his
sake, but for their own. Even Papa, who was always the ultimate calming influence, was feeling the pressure.
“Look.” His voice was quiet but heavy. “If it happens—if...
View Full Document
- Winter '13