Author : Bernhard Schlink
Publisher : Vintage International
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’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. I remember one of my high school friends who have watched the movie said that The Reader is a bit vulgar and controversial. But that makes me want to read this book even more.
The Reader is a story about love and about morality. It’s about love between people from different classes. It’s about deciding whether being a criminal is better than being unskilled in something so critical in life.
The Reader is divided into three parts. The first part is about the narrator’s early years and how he met Hanna. In this part we’ll see how the narrator (or Michael) starts to have feeling for Hanna. He was so young and he got confused easily about his feeling towards Hanna. He kept questioning if it’s wrong or if he really loves her and that made me want to see where this would go. In the second part, we’ll read about Michael’s college years. He studied law in school and that’s how he finally learned about Hanna’s past. In the last part, we’ll read the conclusion of Michael-Hanna relationship.
I love every character in this book. I can see that the characters developed really well as the story goes. In each part of the book I got to know more and more about them. Hanna is one interesting character. In the first part of the book I thought she’s the kind of woman who just does things as she likes but then in the second part I feel more sympathetic toward her. I think Michael is also a unique character even from the start of the book. He’s quite mature for a young man who he was in the first part.
It’s a great book actually but when I read it sometimes I had to read the paragraph twice or more just to get what it really means. That’s the reason why I don’t give this book a full five stars. I really recommend this book though.