The Book Thief
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.