The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

No. of pages: 216
Rating: 4/10

Synopsis: Michael Berg is 15 when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns very much about her and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again. But, to his horror, he does. Hanna is a defendant in a trial related to Germany's Nazi past and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. As Michael follows the trial, he struggles with an overwhelming question: what should his generation do with its knowledge of the Holocaust?

Review: 15 year old Michael starts a love affair with Hanna, a woman in her 30's, although she always holds herself back from him and he never knows why. Years later when he's a law student, he sees her in a court room being accused of awful things. Michael struggles to come to terms with having loved someone so terrible...

This is a weird book for me as I didn't like it at all, but it's a very thought provoking book. It raises the question of 'how far would you go to hide something?', and the answer in the book is 'too far'. I personally cannot ever imagine doing the things Hanna did, right from sleeping with a child to what she did during the war. I found Hanna to be quite a hateful character, and I thought she was insanely selfish but yet I felt forced to feel sympathy for her when she quite clearly didn't deserve it. I thought that part one was the best section of the book, and my interest slowly waned through parts two and three. It's a book I'm glad I've read, but one I'd not bother to pick up again.
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