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The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief Chapter 72 Summary

The Ageless Brother

  • In a couple of weeks, it will be the middle of February and Liesel's fourteenth birthday.
  • Hans isn't back yet, and Liesel has read to Frau Holtzapfel three more times.
  • Now she wants to return something.
  • She gets the plate from Ilsa's cookies and heads over 8 Grande Strasse, leaves the plate in front of the door, and then knocks.
  • As she's leaving, she hears her brother encouraging her.
  • At this moment, "With great sadness […] she realiz[es] her brother will be six forever" (72.9).
  • She goes to the Amper River and looks in.
  • From now on, she won't see her brother in her nightmares.
  • He comes tonight before she goes to sleep, along with Hans, Max, and Rudy.
  • Liesel hears Rosa snoring in the other room, wearing the accordion.
  • She's also thinking of a quote from The Last Human Stranger: "There were people everywhere on the city street, but the stranger could not have been more alone if he were empty" (72.14).
  • In the morning, Rosa's still wearing the accordion. Liesel's praying for everybody to come back alive.
  • Liesel is sure these prayers help Hans come back alive.

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