I read this book because it was an Oprah's Book Club Selection, and I didn't know what it was about. If you know me well, you are laughing because I typically don't like WWII novels. The subject is so heavy, it doesn't seem possible to ever do it justice. (I feel the same about historical fiction involving slavery.)
The Reader is the only exception I've encountered. That may be partly because it doesn't actually take place during WWII, but the subject matter is still there.
This book is short, so it's all meat and bones. It punched me directly in the gut (in a good way) because it asks the ultimate question: Can we forgive the people we love of doing horrible things?
This is also one of the few times where I feel the movie version of a wonderful book does it justice. Kate Winslet is fantastic in whatever she does and she plays this part perfectly.
I read a ton of books, and because I read pretty quickly (and because I've had a few concussions,) retention can be an issue for me. I can remember if I read a book and if I liked it or not but I may not be able to recall details. For a novel to stick with me for several years AND I remember the plot line, it shows what a powerful, well written story it is.