When I first saw this book at the thrift-store months ago, I thought to myself that it had to be amazing. The cover image intrigued me, I'm interested in reading books that pertain to the Holocaust, and at only 218 pages, it's short so I felt sure that it would pack a punch.
The first part interested me, due to the fact that I felt the book was leading up to something really dramatic and exciting, but I never felt that spark that makes a book great. Everything felt a bit rushed, and matter-of-fact, and almost scripted. The beginning of Hanna and Michael's affair was so abrupt that it seemed unnatural.
The second part, which should have really interested me, as it's the part that dealt with the majority of the Holocaust issues, was interesting only because of Hanna's actions. Her secret wasn't really a revelation to me, as I had suspected it for quite a while.
The third part was boring to me. Michael annoyed me in his alienation from others, and his refusal to accept other women as they are and instead tries to make them fit into this ideal Hanna-mold that Hanna herself didn't even fit. It felt to me that he gave up living after his affair with Hanna deteriorated, just as he had given up against her so many times while they were together. Hanna was the star, and Michael was responsible for the stage-dressing and supporting roles.
One thing that irritated me throughout the story was Michael's inability to remember the things that he wants to tell us about. I understand that most people do not have 100% recall, but I counted at least 5 examples of where he would try to describe what he couldn't remember. This just seemed so lazy to me. Like the author expects the reader (meaning us) to do all the work of imagining the scenario for him, so that he does not have to give it life of its own. I suppose that some will say that Michael's inability to remember everything makes the story more real, but I just kept thinking what a cheat it was.
This was an OK book. I'd recommend it if I thought that the person would really enjoy it, but I myself felt disappointed by it over all.