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The Book Thief
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The Book Thief Chapter 57 Summary
Frau Holtzapfel's Offer
The next day Rudy and Liesel explore the damage to Molching. There's "an enormous bowl spooned out of" (57.1) the Hitler Youth field where Rudy was made to do push-ups in fertilizer.
It will be two weeks before another air raid.
But, two other things are about to happen. One has to do with, "The hands of Frau Holtzapfel" and the other with, "The parade of Jews" (55.4).
One day, Frau Holtzapfel comes to the Hubermanns' door. Rosa sends Liesel to answer.
She asks Liesel, "Is that swine of a mother of yours here today?" (55.9).
Liesel calls to Rosa, and we are given the fifth word from Liesel's dictionary, "
– Opportunity" (55.11).
Rosa comes and asks Frau Holtzapfel if she's here to spit on the floor.
Actually, she wants something.
She wants Liesel – to come to her house and read her
Rosa protests. Frau Holtzapfel says that in addition to ceasing with the door-spitting, she'll give Rosa some of her flour and coffee.
So, it's a deal.
It's arranged that Liesel will come to her house Mondays, Fridays, and today.
They get to Frau Holtzapfel's house, and she grumpily orders Liesel to start reading.
Liesel thinks, "This is my punishment for all the stealing. It's finally caught up with me" (55.40).
She reads for three quarters of an hour, and then is dismissed, with a bag of coffee.
She thanks Frau Holtzapfel and gives her a
Frau Holtzapfel gives her one back. She's a patriot and has two sons fighting for Germany in Russia.
She tells Liesel she'll see her tomorrow, tomorrow being Friday.
Later, when Liesel writes her story, she says she reads to Frau Holtzapfel four more times.
Then the parade of Jews will come through Molching, on the way to
(the concentration camp nearby, past the Amper River).
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