I’m taking a small break from dystopian young adult fiction. Instead, I’m wandering into an equally cheery subject matter–The Holocaust. Personally, I love stories from WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. They are almost always sad or depressing, but they are a reminder of some of the darkest and brightest moments in the world. I grabbed All The Light We Cannot See thinking I recognized the title from somewhere, but I’m honestly not sure. I also figured it’s time I read something with a major recognition, and this one won the Pulitzer Prize. It’ll probably take a little while to finish this book, but tune back soon for a review.
“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 she 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.
Doerr’s ‘stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors’ (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer ‘whose sentences never fail to thrill’ (Los Angeles Times).”