Review: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

February 23, 2016

I wanted to do a book review and let readers see the books I enjoy reading. I could not think of any I read recently that I w

ould recommend, except maybe Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates, however Oates is an acquired taste and I am not a fan off all of her works, so I deleted that idea. The last book I truly enjoyed, I read almost a year ago, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I read it because it was on the New York Times Bestsetter List and we were going to Paris in the spring. I imagined what it was like in 1940 when we were there.

 

Marie Laurie fled Paris in the summer of 1940 due to the German occupation. She went to St. Malo, to the home of her eccentric great uncle. He lived in a tall house close to the sea. Marie Laurie had been blind since the age of six and depended on replicas of her neighborhood in Paris to navigate through the streets and to the museum where her father was the master of the locks. Her attentive father built the replicas for her study and enjoy with secret boxes and surprises. Because she is blind, the reader experiences Paris and St. Malo through her other senxes, touch, smell and hearing. When the Germans arrive in St. Malo it is terrifying to listen in the tall house to the footsteps, belonging to the unknown, in the kitchen. It reminded me of Anne Frank's experiences in the attic.

 

Another story about a young German boy, Werner and his sister, is woven into the novel. This boy is recruited as one of Hitlers Youth because of his uncanny ability to work with radios. These characters live parallel lives during a horrific war and are on different sides of the conflict. Their lives touch in St. Malo. The writing is exquisite and all the emotions are there. Our hearts open to both the young German soldier and the young blind Parisian as we observe the war and France, and ultimately it is revealed that the hearts we observe are good, and people, even in war, try to be good. I give this read all the stars and sprinkles of glitter. It it is the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

 

 

 

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