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Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See

All the light we cannot see

So how, children, does the brain, which lives withouta spark of light, build for us a world full of light?

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris. They have a routine and a happy little life. While her father works Marie-Laure spends her time reading or learning about mollusks. She then follows her father home, where they settle into their evening routine which includes her father making a perfectly scaled model of where they live. You see Marie-Laurie is blind but her father helps her to “see” a world all her own. But Paris becomes occupied territory forcing her and her father to flee to Saint-Malo to live with her reclusive great uncle.

Werner lives in a home with other orphans and his sister. Werner is a gifted mathematician with a special talent for radios. After putting a radio together he and his sister listen to the sounds of music and science lectures in awe. He has resigned himself to a life in the mines of their little town, like the rest of the boys, until fate gives him the opportunity to go to a prestigious school in Berlin. There he excells at his studies and soon finds himself an active duty soldier making his way to Saint-Malo.

Eventually their worlds collide and are forever changed.

My thoughts:

This book is a prime example that a book doesn’t need to be wordy in order to be beautiful. It was like a fine gourmet meal. Every word had a purpose, they were never just haphazardly thrown in just to make the word count.

Deliberately, almost lazily, the bombers shed altitude.  Threads of red light ascend from anti-air emplacements up and down the coast. Dark, ruined ships appear, scuttled or destroyed, one with its bow shorn away, a second flickering as it burns. 

Every sentence, just like the one above was so rich. The words give way to the story that is just as beautiful. Doerr introduces a number of characters that are threads to the overall tapestry that weave together to create this story. You truly get the sense that they are all pulled along by the war. This book is well deserving of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

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