This is my standard shortish review of a book. Later, I will be posting more thoughts on this book and the film.
About the Book: 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.
My Review: This is a short book and can be devoured quickly, however, it is also very complex. It's been awhile since I've read a book that manages to explore morality through many different lenses in a way that is fresh and thought provoking. There is probably no better backdrop to examine the condition of the human heart and conscience than the Holocaust. And yet our entry into this exploration, the window we are given, is far from typical.
Written with spare prose and plenty of little bits to pull out and mull over, I read this book quickly and have enjoyed taking time to digest it. I will blog a bit more later about that. I just found out this was an Oprah Book Club pick in 1999. I was in college at that time and completely oblivious to what the world was reading. That's okay, though, I might have preconceived notions if I had known that before reading it. :)
Rating: Five stars (what a great start to 2009!)
Buy The Reader
This was read for the War Through the Generations Challenge and the Buy One Book and Read It Challenge.