Let me just begin with… this isn’t my usual type of read. I’ve never liked history (in high school or now), so the fact I was convinced by recommendations to read this book has to tell you something. People loved this book, and so did I.
The story is beautifully written, switching back and forth between character’s lives and time periods. Though, even with all of the back and forth, you always know exactly what the author is describing. It’s so well written I would just sit there listening to the Audible with my eyes closed, picturing the scene unfold in front of me.
If you haven’t heard of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr before, here’s a quick, down and dirty summary:
There are two main characters. One is a little blind girl named Marie-Laure who lives with her father in Paris, but when the war breaks out and Germans occupy Paris, they flee to the Brittany coast. The other is a German boy named Werner. He’s an orphan who finds himself forced into the Hitler youth, working on radios and tracking the Resistance. These two characters lives converge in Saint-Malo (that’s all I can tell you without giving anything away).
One of the reasons I feel this is so well written is because when Anthony Doerr would describe Marie-Laure’s storyline, he talks about things she hears, feels, smells, or senses in great detail. Because, just like her, you can’t see the actual world, so both you and Marie-Laure are imagining it together.
Children’s involvement in the war (by choice or forced) is mind-boggling. The things they would do and see every day is more than we could even image at that age. But, one of the best aspects of this book is showing that even though there are bad people in the world, some are truly kind. Our human nature is not to hurt others, but to love them.
These little takeaways is why I enjoyed reading the book so much. The quiet, kind-natured individuals who didn’t let a war change them makes this book worth while. It’s a moving book that I would strongly recommend.
Anyone else feel the same way?