Books

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure 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, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.




Hey! Here's my review.

I'm not usually drawn to historical fiction which is probably why it took so long for me to finish this. I kept getting distracted by other books. It took me 3 months to read the first half, then this week I decided to finish it before I started anything else. Once I settled down and read more than two chapters in one sitting, I got right into it and finished the second half in 2 days. The chapters are very short and change perspectives, so you really need to read a few to get into the story. I found the jumps in time a little confusing to keep track of too. 

The story is told from the perspective of two children living through World War 2; a blind French girl and a clever German boy. This gives the book a more innocent feel, focussing on the children rather than the horrors of war. I liked that neither are portrayed as "good guys" or "bad guys", they are just young people trying to survive.
★★ 
All the Light You Cannot See was awarded the Pulitzer prize for fiction.

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