Review: The Reader (Bernhard Schlink)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: ★★


Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder. 


I bought this book 3 years ago at a book sale. The cover intrigued me and I didn’t know what the story was about. Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking a ride with The Reader and experiencing such emotional and philosophical turmoil, I almost had half the mind to stop reading it altogether!

The story starts out slow and before long you’re wondering if what Michel Berg does is right? And then he explores his sound of mind and what he should be feeling in regards for Hanna’s actions.

I can’t say I loved this book and it moved me much, but there are many hidden nooks that a reader such as ourselves can discover buried truths in. I understand how this became a movie and the trailer looked really appealing. I sort of liked the style of writing but maybe I’m just not into that deep kind of reading?


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