All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
|July 31, 2014||Posted by Christa McGrath under Historical Fiction, Suspense|
This book goes back in time to World War II — a time of utter upheaval, uncertainty, chaos, and violence. Doerr brings this story to life through two intersecting storylines. The first story follows Marie-Laure, a blind little girl who lives in Paris with her beloved father. The second story follows Werner who lives with his sister, Jutta, in an orphanage in Germany. They move about their lives and adapt well to their own individual circumstances. Until war begins.
Marie-Laure fleas to Paris with her father where they find refuge with an uncle in Saint-Malo. Her father, who is a locksmith and keeper of the keys at a Parisian museum, is entrusted with the famous “Sea of Flame” – a centuries old blue-like sea diamond that is said to carry a curse. Werner has a gift for science and can fix just about anything, including radios. His special gift attracts the Nazis during wartime and he is sent to a special school that ferociously trains young boys for the Nazi military elite.
Marie-Laure and Werner’s stories follow parallel paths for most of the book. While they are on opposite sides of the war, they are each innocent victims — with their own battles and challenges and sad circumstances that will endear them to readers. Both characters are on an emotional journey where they are forced to find courage and pure iron will to survive. Marie-Laure is such a brave and valiant girl who shows such strength in finding her way in her world of darkness. Werner is a young boy forced into a violent world he has no control over. How their paths cross — through a little predictable — is brilliantly told.
Readers will be completely entranced with Doerr’s storytelling skills and will find themselves anxiously turning pages to find out what happens to all the wonderful characters like Marie-Laure, her father, her great-uncle, Werner, his sister Jutta, and many other characters who have been introduced along the way. The book is divided into numerous sections and the chapters within the sections are short and alternate between the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner. It is beautifully and entrinickly written; the characters are believable and realistic; the story is haunting and clever. The book is 544 pages. For slow readers like myself, it can take time to complete the book; but for those who can devour books quiet easily, it can be completed in a couple of sittings. A touching story of love and loss, All The Light You Cannot See will stay in your heart and memory for a very long time.
To learn more about All the Light We Cannot See, visit: http://books.simonandschuster.ca/All-the-Light-We-Cannot-See/Anthony-Doerr/9781476746586