by Bernhard Schlink (translator: Carol Brown Janeway) - £8.99 Orion Publishing Co. (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780753823293 | ISBN 10: 0753823292
For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems.
Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret.
"Bernhard Schlink 's extraordinary novel 'The Reader' is a compelling meditation on the connections between Germany's past and its present, dramatised with extreme emotional intelligence as the story of a relationship between the narrator and an older woman. It has won deserved praise across Europe for the tact and power with which it handles its material, both erotic and philosophical."
(Independent on Sunday Magazine)
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)
In booklists: World Fiction - Europe, Writers by Surname - S, Fiction - Jewish Writers, World Fiction - Germany, Political Fiction, In categories: Fiction, World - Europe, Jewish Diaspora, Politics & Philosophy,