All the Light We Cannot See
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From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller 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 in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
This book as many people said had a unique point of view telling the story of two children growing up in world war II. We see the story of a blind girl in France and a boy in German who goes to a Nazis school to train boys to be soldiers. Marie Laure, and her father flee Paris after the German occupation to live with her granduncle who is a little crazy (he has PTSD). While Werner the German boy goes to a German school for sceince where is also trained for war. He is brilliant at math and works with the Germans to take out people that have illegal radios by triangulating their location. Eventually the two timelines collide when Werner is sent to the same town that Marie Laure is staying in.
This book is complimented time and time again for it's rich descriptions. I do agree that it had some wonderful descriptions. Doerr's descriptions were very vivid and kept your grounded. But I found it difficult to keep engaged. This was my second attempt at reading this book this year, so at times I was bored because I knew what was going to happen. But at others there just wasn't enough going on. It is ironic that I should feel this way because Doerr chopped up the narrative and inserted it back into the text out of order, so you are always wondering how did the characters get to this point? But for me that wasn't enough to grip me.
Overall I found the accuracy to be correct for aspects of history. Overall did enjoy reading it but it was not my favorite book by far. This book may have been to literary for me at this time, but I did want to get through it, which is why I picked it up again. Which says something about it. If you are a fan of at times dense literary reading, or historical fiction I think that you would enjoy this book. Many other people have really enjoyed this book. So, maybe you will too.
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