An exceptionally powerful novel exploring the themes of betrayal, guilt and memory against the background of the Holocaust. An international bestseller.
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.
'A tender, horrifying novel that shows blazingly well how the Holocaust should be dealt with in fiction' INDEPENDENT
'For generations to come, people will be reading and marvelling over Bernhard Schlink's The Reader' EVENING STANDARD
'Leaps national boundaries and speaks straight to the heart' NEW YORK TIMES