The Book Thief
The Book Thief Chapter 22 Summary
The Mayor's Library
- Liesel knows the mayor's wife saw her stealing the book, and she's paranoid.
- She's really afraid to deliver laundry to the mayor's house on Grande Strasse.
- Rudy goes with her (though he doesn't know why she's afraid).
- After much time-killing, Liesel knocks on the door of the mayor's house.
- The mayor's wife answers the door, takes the washing, and gives Liesel the money.
- Then she closes the door.
- Liesel is a little dazed. Maybe, just maybe, she hadn't been seen book-thieving.
- Nope, Death tells us that she was, indeed, seen by the mayor's wife, but the woman is "just waiting for the right moment" (22.36) to let her know.
- One day, Liesel goes to the mayor's house without Rudy.
- When the mayor's wife opens the door, she asks Liesel to come in.
- She tells Liesel to wait.
- Liesel thinks she'll come back with the dirty laundry, but instead she comes with a huge stack of books.
- Liesel is very afraid! She thinks the mayor's wife is going to do something awful to her.
- Instead, she invites Liesel into a room full of books!
- Shelves and shelves of books cover the walls.
- Liesel has never seen anything like it.
- She asks if she can touch them, and the mayor's wife gives her the OK.
- After touching as many books as possible, Liesel takes the stack of books the mayor is holding and puts them in their place on one of the shelves.
- The window is open in the room, and it's very cold.
- Liesel notices that the mayor's wife looks very damaged.
- After some time, Liesel leaves. She walks home in a dream.
- She realizes she didn't thank the mayor's wife. How could she be so rude?
- So, she turns back.
- But, the mayor answers the door. His wife, Ilsa Hermann comes and stands next to him, looking again as if she's in pain.
- Liesel stammers. The mayor's wife gives her a very slight nod.
- After the door closes, Liesel smiles.