The Reader by Traci Chee


“The Reader” by Traci Chee is set in an illiterate world full of islands and dangerous seas. Told through intertwining narratives, THIS story centers around Sefia, a young woman running with her aunt Nin from an unknown and terrifying assassin. This assassin is responsible for the brutal killing of Sefia’s father. Among her limited possessions, Sefia is carrying a rectangular object – a BOOK – with a mysterious insignia on the cover. When Nin is captured by the assassin, Sefia vows to follow and rescue Nin. To do this, Sefia HAS to refine her survival skills and begins using the book to teach herself to read. Along her journey, Sefia rescues a stranger being held captive in a box displaying the same insignia as her book. This stranger, who has SECRETS of his own, resolves to help Sefia find her aunt and take revenge on the assassin.

“The Reader” offers a unique reading experience. Not only is the plot compelling, the mysteries within the text make you question whether the titular reader is Sefia or the person holding Sefia’s story. I advise those who follow Sefia on her journey to do so with a notebook and to heed the advice of the preface: “Look Closer.” This book has secrets.

I chose “The Reader” as our first discussion book for the newly created Books & Brews Club. We meet the first Saturday of every month at Fat Toad Brewing from 1 – 3 pm. The first hour of our meeting is devoted to socializing and whatnot. The second hour is devoted to book and other discussions. This is a very relaxed book club in a very relaxed setting. No purchase is necessary to participate in our meetings, but you do have to be 21 or older to attend. We will discuss “The Reader” at our April 7th meeting. You can check out “The Reader” at the library or buy it at The Book Exchange.