Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink is a story told by Michael Berg about an affair he had at fifteen with a woman twice his age in postwar Germany. His affair with Hanna is strong, passionate, and interesting. Michael also reads aloud to Hanna as he continues his studies in school. One day, Hanna mysteriously disappears. Michael does not see her again until years later when he is studying law and has a chance to follow a trial for Nazi war criminals. Hanna is on trial for something horrendous, and Michael must reconcile his image of his once lover and the woman in front of him now who refuses to defend herself. The book is utterly dripping with interesting insight into guilt, love, and the Holocaust. Read this book if you're interested in Holocaust history, if you enjoy impossible love stories, or if you've heard of the movie, but want to read the book. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.