Sunday, January 04, 2015
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I love to pick a book to read by the light the Christmas tree on my iPad during the holidays, and this year I was intrigued by all of the accolades All the Light We Cannot See was receiving - finalist for the National Book Award, New York Times #1 bestseller, Indie Next Pick and the list goes on. I had read enough to know it is a WWII story of a young boy and a young girl who are united by the power of radio. Historic fiction isn't at the top of my lists of reading interests, but after reading a little bit about Anthony Doerr and discovering that he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, I knew I had to read this book. Doerr's prose is beautiful poetry! He weaves a compelling connection between his alternate narrators - Marie-Laure who lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History and a German orphan named Werner who is snatched up by Hitler's Youth for his aptitude for science. Although the book is very long - 544 pages - the chapters are relatively short and the jumping back and forth between narrators and time periods make it an unbelievably quick book. I was fully satisfied by the novel and it was the rare sort that made me interested in doing more research into the ancient walled city of Saint Malo, the seizure of French art during the German invasion and the history of radio. Doerr explains his various inspirations for the novel in this short video.