This exceptional novel explores the complex relationship between Hanna and Michael against a backdrop of post war Germany and the differing impact of guilt for their respective generations. The tale of the central relationship is sensitively told and the difficult context is examined through their respective experiences. The temptation for scapegoating, to absolve the 'guilt' of the many on the shoulders of a few, also resonates with more contemporary social upheavals. The issue of literacy simply accentuates the disadvantage faced by those outsiders to the mainstream culture.
A thoroughly absorbing read.