by Anthony Doerr
Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
Buy from Indigo
Description: From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work
The Good Stuff
- Hauntingly beautiful writing, almost poetic
- Such fascinating and real characters
- Some truths about life so elequently written
- What could have been a depressing tragic and bleak story under less deft hands, turns into a hopeful, raw and honest tale of survival and life
- Gives insight into how young boys were turned into Nazi's
- This could be turned into an award winning movie, with the right director and cast
- Enjoyed the secondary characters and felt they rounded out the story. I especially enjoyed Marie Laurie's family and friends
- Loved the inclusion of Jules Verne's works
- Gives you some understanding of the meaningless of war and the right and wrong on both sides
- The jumping from one time frame to another can be a wee bit jarring
- Relly have to pay attention or you are going to miss things
- Not enough tied up plot points for my taste (Yes I need things wrapped up, I am a simple girl)
"Seventy-six years old," she whispers, "and I can still feel like this? Like a little girl with stars in my eyes?"
"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever."
"They just say words, and what are words but sounds these men shape out of breath, weightless vapors they send into the air of the kitchen to dissipate and die."
"When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery: I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?"
I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review