All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this deeply moving and enthralling tale of hope, determination and survival. It is the story of two adolescents growing up during WWII: one a young boy, Werner, who is living in Germany during the rise of German fascism, and the other, Marie-Laure, a blind girl who lives with her father in France during the birth of the French Resistance. Werner is driven by a deep love of science while Marie-Laure is inhabited by the power of books. The story is skillfully crafted as it jumps between perspectives of the two different paths their lives take until their stories and destinies converge.
A philosophical coming-of-age fable, it is a novel that constantly oscillates between the moral uncertainties of life and the chiseled precision of the natural world surrounding both its characters, and its readers. The language is so fantastically precise, and lyrical that the visual images it arouses are astounding. Anthony Doerr does things with verbs that make entire paragraphs sing. It is one of very few novels I've ever read that touches on the horror of war for BOTH sides. It shows what can happen when good people encounter evil, which in itself could have been a depressing, tragic and bleak story under less deft hands, but Doerr guides the narrative into a raw and honest yet uplifting tale of hope, survival and life. I "read" the audio version....excellent.
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