Wednesday, September 16, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I came across this book as part of a class I did last spring. I bought it in May and have been reading it ever since. I just couldn't get into it.

It is the story of Marie-Laure a young girl raised in Paris who is being raised by her father in the days leading up to World War II. Marie-Laure is blind, but her father never lets that slow her down. He teachers her how to find her way around and take care of herself. As the war breaks out and they need to flee Paris, these lessons will be invaluable.

It is also the story of Werner, a brilliant young boy growing up in Germany. Orphaned along with his sister he falls in love with the radio and in their children's home they listen to a French scientist's radio broadcasts. Werner discovers a natural ability for building and repairing radios. This skill lands him in a special school and service for the German army in WWII.

Although quite separate, their lives are intertwined in ways they could never imagine.

I wanted to love this book. I tried to love this book. But I just didn't. I think part of what kept me from being drawn into it are the short little chapters and constantly changing voices and time periods. It can be hard to keep track of where and when you are in the story and who all the characters are. Especially when your reading is spread out over several months! But the writing is beautiful, the characters are interesting, I just feel like I had a hard time getting to know them in such short, spread out passages.

It has been a long time since a book has really drawn me in. Does anyone have any recommendations?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sue,
    Very interested in your blog. Our Preston Library Book Club will be reading this book in November. I have been conflicted about the reviews, although some people love it. I think I may agree with you.
    The best book I read this summer is "Girl in Translation" by Jean Kwok. It is a fictionalized biography of the author- immigrating from Hong Kong to New York. Many, many immigrant challenges and then a big challenge in her love life. I was drawn into the narrative so much that when she had to make a decision, I felt torn up trying to figure what would be best for her to do. Loved it!
    Welcome back to the blogging world!