Known for its impact of eroticism and moral claims upon the reader, The Reader is a contemporary fiction. It tells a mesmerizing story of love, secrets, betrayal, guilt, horror and compassion against the backdrop of post war Germany. It’s an autobiographical novel about a 15-year old, Michael Berg who falls in love with Hanna Schmidt, a woman twice his age.
What makes this book interesting is, after a brief love-affair; Hanna disappears suddenly until years later they meet in a court where the boy is visiting a trial about war crimes as a law student.
The Reader takes us literally to the German city after the Holocaust through the eyes of Michael and Hanna. One can see the growing love connection of the two distinct people and feel the betrayals and guilt as secrets are revealed in a surprising manner.
What I loved about the book is that it opens your eyes to the raw humanity portrayed through the characters in postwar Germany and how it is beautifully captured in writing is amazing! The title of the book itself is a real cache which encircles the storyline and once you start reading you cannot stop pondering as to whose shoes you must put yourself into. Never-ending page flipping is guaranteed until you finish the book. This book has been made in to a major motion picture where Kate Winslet won the Oscar for best actress in 2009.
This appeared in the 3rd edition of Yeewong magazine.