Set in postwar Germany, The Reader is a provocative, morally challenging, and deeply moving novel about a young boy's erotic awakening in a clandestine love affair with a mysterious older woman. Falling ill on his way home from school, 15-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. For a time, the two become passionate lovers. Then, one day, Hanna disappears without a word. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael recognizes his former lover on the stand, accused of a hideous crime. And as he watches Hanna refuse to defend herself against the charges, Michael gradually realizes that she may be guarding a secret more shameful than murder.
A formally beautiful, disturbing and finally morally devastating novel. From the first page, [The Reader] enshares both heart and mind.