The Book Thief
The Book Thief Chapter 86 Summary
Wood in the Afternoon
- Himmel Street has been cleaned up after the bombing and nobody is sure what to do with Liesel.
- She and her accordion are with the police when Ilsa Hermann comes for her. Grande Strasse was not bombed.
- She rides home with Ilsa in the mayor's car. The mayor drives.
- Liesel talks to herself all night long.
- She doesn't take a bath.
- She sleeps without dreaming and doesn't want to wake up.
- Four days later, when she goes to the funerals, she still hasn't bathed.
- Some people think they saw her in the Amper River with all her clothes on, saying something about a kiss.
- Time passes and the war rages.
- Liesel remembers her books. She goes to Himmel Street to try to find them, but there's no trace.
- There's a second funeral for the Steiner family when Alex Steiner comes home, shortly after the bombing.
- He thinks that if he hadn't kept Rudy from going to the Nazi school, Rudy might still be alive.
- He tells Liesel he would give anything to have somehow traded his life for his sons.
- Liesel tells him about kissing Rudy's dead lips.
- Death says, "There were wooden teardrops and an oaky smile" (86.26).
- (Since this is Rudy's funeral, the references to wood might have to do with Rudy's coffin, though it isn't really clear. What do you think? )