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The Reader

by Bernhard Schlink

It seems a simple story of a young boy's relationship with an older woman. But then it becomes a comment on how a country comes to terms with its history and a story about how we deal with our own past and the dark secrets we keep from the rest of the world. Made me weep for what was, what might have been, and mankind!

Extract

Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed dark truths? Why does the memory of years of happy, marriage turn to gall when our partner is revealed to have had a lover all those years? Because such a situation makes it impossible to be happy? But we were happy! Sometimes the memory of happiness cannot stay true because it ended unhappily. Because happiness is only real if it lasts forever? Because things always end painfully if they contained pain, conscious or unconscious, all along? But what is unconscious, unrecognized pain?
Translated by Carol Brown Janeway

Parallels

Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
 

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