The Woman on the Stairs: Book summary and reviews of The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink

The Woman on the Stairs

by Bernhard Schlink

The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink X
The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Mar 2017
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

in a museum far from home a man stumbles onto a painting of a woman for whom he once, long ago, risked everything and who then mysteriously disappeared from his life.

As a young lawyer, the nameless protagonist of The Woman on the Stairs became entangled in the affairs of three people mired in a complex and destructive relationship. An artist, the woman whose portrait he had painted, and her husband became a triangle that drew the lawyer deeper and deeper into their tangled web. Now, encountering the painting that triggered it all, the lawyer must reconcile his past and present selves; when he eventually locates the woman, he is forced to confront the truth of his love and the reality that his life has been irrevocably changed.

With The Woman on the Stairs, the internationally acclaimed author of The Reader delivers a powerful new novel about obsession, creativity, and love. Intricately crafted, poignant, and beguiling, this is Bernhard Schlink writing at his peak.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Exquisite ... Schlink offers a profoundly moving meditation on how one's life is affected by the choices one makes along the way." - Publishers Weekly

"Despite some touching scenes near the end, Schlink doesn't seem to have the creative wherewithal to bring his characters and themes fully to life." - Kirkus

"Schlink, best known for The Reader (1995), once again tells a mysterious, character-driven, and history-enriched story in which a man reckons with his past." - Booklist

"This poignant meditation on recrimination and regret explores the nature of unrequited love and the gift of redemption. Too often though, it's bogged down by stilted, inauthentic conversations that emphasize the self-absorption of all four main characters. Those familiar with Schlink's earlier book The Reader will find that this new novel lacks a similar heft." - Library Journal

"A daring, hugely emotional work of literature." - News (Germany)

"[Schlink] has succeeded in writing a veritable thriller, which subtly and expertly intertwines perceptions of art and contemporary political events." - Weser-Kurier (Germany)

"A gripping novel about what happens when life's plans fall apart."- Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

"Flawlessly simple prose. Bernhard Schlink is a master... His writing is understandable, transparent and intelligent. Seemingly effortless, he manages to create a variety of complex characters, tangled plots and moral dilemmas." - Die Welt (Germany)

"Bernhard Schlink's The Woman on the Stairs flows with great style between fiction and the politics of the day. The novel is gripping and intelligent, offset with a good portion of thoughtfulness." - Rhein-Main-Press (Germany)

The information about The Woman on the Stairs shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Bernhard Schlink Author Biography

Bernhard Schlink was born July 6, 1944 in Bethel, Germany, the youngest of four children. He studied law at West Berlin’s Free University, graduating in 1968. He served as a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia beginning in 1988, and became a professor for public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in 1992, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

Schlink began his career as a writer with several detective novels, one of which one the Glauser Prize in 1989. The Reader was published in 1995 and became a bestseller in both Germany and the United States. It was the first German book to reach the number one position in the New York Times bestseller list. In 1997 it won the Hans Fallada Prize, an ...

... Full Biography

Other books by Bernhard Schlink at BookBrowse
  • The Reader jacket

6 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...
  • Book Jacket: The Seine
    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino
    Of the 24 members who reviewed Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River that Made Paris for BookBrowse...
  • Book Jacket: Fireborne
    Fireborne
    by Rosaria Munda
    Inspired by classical political theory and the French Revolution, Rosaria Munda's YA debut Fireborne...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.