Bernhard Schlink, the German author best known for The Reader, describes first hand, second hand and through her letters, the life of Olga Rinke. Raised by a grandmother who didn’t love her, Olga falls in love with Herbert, and man with wanderlust whose parents and sister want him to marry a woman of his social class-a class Olga does not belong to. Through hard work, Olga becomes a teacher who teaches German students before during and after WWI.
Through skillful and creative writing, Olga becomes a realistic, multi-dimensional character. What Schlink’s novel lacks in dramatics, it makes up for in artistic nuances.