I will miss Waterstones' 3-for-2 offers; but as it must be a few years since I bought this book as part of one, I concede those offers may not have been generating as much revenue as desired. The writing feels fresh and original, broken into bite-sized pieces in an easy style ... and narrated by Death. We're straight into the story of Liesel Meminger and her arrival at the house of her new foster-parents, the Hubermanns, in Molching, a town near Munich in early 1939. The back story is sufficiently explained to the reader - her father, who never appears in the book, was a Kommunist - though Liesel is unaware of the problem therein. Her brother dies on the train journey to Molching; she picks up a book left by the gravediggers as his body is buried.
Liesel slowly settles in at home, but has difficulty with reading and writing, and is held back in school. She regularly has nightmares about her brother and her stepfather begins to help her to read and to sleep. Then war breaks out; although lives do not change dramatically, the atmosphere changes. There are a number of twists and turns to Liesel's story, sometimes stretching the imagination but not completely implausible. It's difficult to see how the book will end - and it is not entirely consistent with itself, but it's a very entertaining journey nonetheless.