Saturday, May 2, 2015

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Title: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 531

Received: Purchased

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★  

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. [goodreads]

My Thoughts

So, this book was the winner that pulled me out of my reading slump. It was intriguing, riveting... what else can I say? This book was heavily detailed, but the experience of his words and beginning to see all the little kinks of Paris. There were lots of times the plot went in different directions and I was a mastered skimmer. But I understand what the ending left. 

The novel follows two characters, Marie-Laure and Werner, and we read from their childhood from then on. I really enjoyed Marie's character because even though she couldn't do much due to her disability, Marie-Laure wasn't her disability, she was a person. People tend to forget that. The ending really brought things into retrospect because you never realize what or who you have until they're/it is gone.

Even though the lack of female characters was a let down, my attention was following minor characters. Like Marie's father and his story. And Marie's uncle. I felt more invested in Marie's story line (mostly because there was a more detailed dose). 

Werner was a very interesting character. I liked how he started from nothing and everyone doubted him. Then he proved them wrong. It was one of those "comeback kid" stories, I don't know. Anyway, his story line was interesting and sad. Throughout the book with different perspectives, I was patiently waiting for the characters to meet. In a way, it was kind of worth it, but some aspects went too fast.

All the Light We Cannot See is a title that fits its story. It wasn't too intense or on any safe subjects, it felt a little in between. The thin line between word and world is harder to find nowadays because adult historical fiction can't ever get on this high level.


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