All the Light We Cannot See...A review.
We had an impossibly gorgeous day last week. A few of them actually, but Monday especially. I had a photo shoot get cancelled (boo) and then rescheduled (woo!), but it left me with an entire afternoon to read.
I started this book two weeks ago and was slowly getting into it. But Monday pushed me from semi-interested into enthralled. The writing was great from the beginning, but I couldn't quite catch the storyline. It seemed too separate for me, as it switches back and forth each chapter to a different person and perspective. But there was a moment, when my Kindle told me I was 40% through, that made the rest of the book soar.
It's set in France and Germany in World War II, detailing a blind French girl's life and young boy's journey from orphanage to army, respectively. I would love to say their stories carried equal weight, but I was smitten with Marie-Laure. Her boldness, grit and love for those around her make her likable to the point of wanting more.
Werner, on the other hand, should have given us more insight into growing up in Nazi Germany. The horror that was WWII didn't come across in his story as much as it could have. But maybe that's not the point of this book.
The metaphor of light worked so well and flowed easily throughout the book. I love the way Anthony Doerr writes, poetic, but not in a way where you're searching for the meaning. Well-researched historical novels are so impressive to me. The thought and effort that goes into them is remarkable and this is no different.
For what it's worth, I very much enjoyed it. (And I think you will too.)
Who is this book for?
Francophiles: Sure thing.
WWII Aficionados: Yes! But it's definitely more story than history. Still interesting for them I think.
Vacationers: My favorite vacation books are ones you can't put down. This one definitely falls into that category.
People who only read nonfiction: Probably not. But I only used to read nonfiction, so this might be a good one to sway them.
What does this book say?
From a certain angle, the spring seems so calm: warm, tender, each night redolent and composed. Any yet everything radiates tension, as if the city has been built upon the skin of a balloon and someone is inflating it toward the breaking point.
To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air.
He made her the glowing hot center of his life; he made her feel as if every step she took was important.
"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?"