One day fifteen year old Michael is on his way home from school when he becomes violently ill. A 36 year old woman named Hanna spots his distress, cleans him up and walks him home. Michael lands in bed with hepatitis for several weeks and when he recovers his mom asks him to personally thank Hannah for her kindness. And boy does she ever . . .
The two become bed-mates for a time and she enjoys listening to Michael read to her. Michael fancies himself a little in love with Hanna despite her odd, aloof behavior. He also struggles with keeping the affair a secret and behaving like a normal teenager. The affair comes to an end when Hanna spots Michael swimming with friends and doesn't acknowledge her. Hanna then disappears.
Years later Michael is a law student sitting in a courtroom and learns that Hanna is on trial for murder and that she spent time as a concentration camp guard for the Nazi's. As the trial continues Michael realizes he knows a secret that can significantly reduce her sentence. But it's a secret that Hanna has kept to herself entire life and he's unsure if he should speak out when she refuses to defend herself.
This is a story with some heavy moral dilemma's but it's ultimately a story of regret of wasted lives. It's a quick read but not one, I think, I will easily forget.
Surprisingly a very good book. I had seen the film before hand so I knew the outcome but even still the author had me turning the pages to finish. It was that good!
"When young Michael Berg falls ill on his way home fro school, he is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover, entralling him with her passion, but puzzling him with her odd silences. Then she disappears. Michael next sees Hanna when she is on trial for a hideous crime, refusing to defend herself. As he watches, he begins to realize that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shamful than murder."