Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Read The World - France - All The Light We Cannot See

Book:  All The Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Pages: 544
Book takes place in the country:  YES
Author is from the country: no
I have visited the country: yes (many times)

This book I read in 2015, and it quickly sored to the top of my must reommend list.  I have a daughter who is legally blind, and the main character is blind in this book.  The book was given to me shortly after my daughters diagnosis, but sat for a year on my shelf.  I couldn't bring myself to read it.  I would walk by it and remember that it was a present and I really needed to read it or get rid of it, and decided to read it.  And I am so sorry I had waited so long to delve into this magnificent book.

We live in Switzerland at the moment, and in Basel - right on the borders of Germany and France.  I have been into France around a dozen times since our move here, and I fall in love with this country more every time I enter.  If you have a chance to put France on your list - not just Paris but Normandy, Saint Malo, San Michel, and Alsace as well - please visit.  It is a beautiful place.

On to the book!

The story is about a young girl  - Marie-Laure - from about the age of 6-16 who is blind and living in France (first Paris and then Saint Malo) during WWII with her father.  The other major character in the book is a boy named Werner who is an orphan from Germany.  It covers his ages from about 6-18 as well.  Their paths never cross until the very end of the book.  They don't speak the same language, they have very different lives, but yet - they meet each other.

It was pretty powerful.

The story isn't a hard read, and will hold your interest.  Marie-Laure and her father must flee Paris when the war starts, and they end up in beautiful Saint Malo living with her great-uncle (who is an agoraphobic) and his house keeper.  Werner, on the other hand, is discovered to be a brilliant engineer from an early age (can fix about any radio he comes across) and is quickly admitted to a science academy for Hitler youth.  It covered the span of their young life, and then jumps in the end to the year 1974 and then to 2014.  I love a book that shows what happens to the characters when the "worst" is behind them and how it shaped their lives.

I wish I would have read this before we traveled to Paris in 2014.  I could see some of the places they talked about, and I think I would have tried to include Saint Malo into our trip then.  But I have been to Saint Malo since and it is one of the prettiest places on earth.

Stars: 5

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