In this novel, homecoming as a theme is explored through the main protagonist, Peter Debauer. He explores his childhood mystery regarding his absent father, a figure he only knows through brief details from his mother and a wonderful relationship he has with his paternal grandparents.
The Odyssey forms part of the story's structure as we compare its journeys and homecomings and the one WWII soldiers had to endure. As Peter explores both he begins to look for his father and travels around Germany and eventually America to make contact with him.
It is a scholarly work, a lot of classical references and a whole lot on law and justice. Neither is surprising given Schlink's background as law professor, judge and crime writer.
It could have been a heavy dry read, but it isn't . I really enjoyed it, the writing is superb, and even though in translation, it's an excellent read.
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