What is the turning point of the story in The Reader?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The turning point of the story in Bernhard Schlink's The Reader is Hanna's death.  Before this, Michael has enjoyed sending Hanna readings of stories on tape, and he valued this distant connection.  However, when the prison where Hanna is serving her sentence calls Michael to make arrangements for her release, he is less than thrilled.  Even though he knows that Hanna has no one else to help her, he cannot understand why she must be his burden.  He still blames her for causing him some emotional damage that will not allow him to make deep connections with others.  However, Michael agrees to help Hanna settle into an apartment and he arranges a job for her; he then visits her at the request of the prison staff.  But time and circumstance have changed their relationship, and Michael struggles to find the meaning that Hanna has in his life.  This rising action ends with Hanna's death after which Michael decides to make amends with the various elements of disconnect that he has experienced in his life, namely the relationship he has with his daughter.