Sunday, 27 August 2017

#45 All the light we cannot see

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I read somewhere that it took the author 10 years to finish this story so my expectations were pretty high, this did not disappoint. I loved it. The writing style is so beautiful. The way the stories weave into each other is so masterfully done. The author manages to make you care about every single character.

The story is set in both Germany and France during the midst of world war ll. In Germany we follow the story of a young boy, Werner is a gifted child who is enlisted into the Hitler youth and sent to fight a war that he does not believe in. As a child he was an orphan who lived in a childrens home with his younger sister, Jutta. He spends his days fixing radios and building technology with spare parts until at the age of 13 he is sent away.

Marie-Laure lives in France and is a young blind girl. She lives with her father whom she is dependant on. Her father builds her mini models of the streets so she can learn to navigate unaided through the streets. When the Germans invade Paris Marie-Laure and her father are forced to flee to Saint Malo where they seek the shelter of her great uncle Etienne. Etienne is a 60 year old agoraphobic who is affected really badly from PTSD. When Marie-Laures father is arrested and moved to Germany she is left in the care of her great uncle and his house keeper, Madame Manec. Etienne owns one of the last remaining radios in France and broadcasts secret messages for the resistance.

When Werner hears Etienne and Marie-Laure's broadcasts he makes the decision to abadon his post and try to rescue them.

The story follows the lives of several characters throughout time, the plot ranges from when Marie-Laure and Werner are six until present day. There is a lot of sadness in this story and at times it can be a difficult read.