The Book Thief
The Book Thief Chapter 64 Summary
The Promise Keeper's Wife
- First, we get a preview: in six hours Hans will be gone. He's telling Liesel that he wowed a crowd with his accordion playing.
- Other than the sip of champagne this summer, Hans has had any drinks in a decade.
- Their wives protest, but Alex and Hans go to the bar.
- Before Hans gets drunk he plays "'Gloomy Sunday' – the anthem of suicide from Hungary" (64.4).
- The crowd wowed. Liesel imagines the scene.
- Coming home drunk, Hans accidentally tries to get into Frau Holtzapfel's house instead of his own.
- She curses him.
- When Papa comes in and stands in Liesel's doorway, she asks, "Is that you?"
- He says that it's him, knowing she's thinking of Max.
- It almost nine, the next day.
- Rosa has Liesel fill up a bucket of water.
- Liesel sees what she's up to and protests.
- But Rosa is in charge.
- Rosa and Liesel go down to the basement where Hans is sleeping among the drop cloths. He didn't feel he was worthy of sleeping on Max's mattress.
- Rosa throws the water on him, and he wakes up.
- She threatens to do it again if he falls back asleep.
- Rosa goes back upstairs, and Liesel starts getting up the water.
- Hans asks if she thinks Max is still living.
- She says she hopes he is.
- He tells her about his night in the bar and about going to Frau Holtzapfel's house afterwards.
- Two hours before Hans's departure, Liesel begs him not to go.
- He tells her she needs to take care of Rosa while he's gone.
- Rudy's dad will leave in four days, and he comes to tell Hans good-bye.
- At the train station, Liesel begs him to stay, again.
- He tells her to take his accordion back home, and tells her to "keep reading in the shelter" (64.69).
- Rosa and Liesel are the last people in the train station after Hans leaves.
- Afterwards, Rosa can't yell at anybody, and Liesel isn't even inspired to steal.
- After about two weeks of this, Rudy comes to Liesel's and makes her come out with him.
- They walk around Molching. Rudy says he wants to go and kill Hitler!
- Liesel is so down, she turns to go back home. Rudy follows her.
- She remembers a chapter from A Song in the Dark.
- The girl in the book's heart is tired.
- Liesel feels too young to have such a tired heart.
- After about an hour, she starts to perk up; she and Rudy reminisce and tease each other.
- Rudy looks at the suits in the window of his father's shop, but Liesel gets him to keep moving.
- When they get back, both of their moms are waiting, looking mad.
- Liesel tells Rudy's mother that Rudy was off killing Hitler.
- When Liesel is sleeping, a noise wakes her.
- When she goes to investigate, she finds Rosa sitting on the bed, with Hans's accordion around her neck.
- Liesel wishes she would play it, but she doesn't.
- She goes back to bed, the image of Rosa and the accordion in her brain.
- When her customary nightmare wakes her again, she finds Rosa still sitting on the bed with the accordion.
- Now she's snoring.
- This time, the picture stays with her, and she has a really hard time getting to sleep.
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