Sunday, March 8, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

9.  A Book Longer than 500 Pages

The story of a young blind French girl living with a great Uncle in a seaside town during WWII.  She is missing her father who has been imprisoned and sent to a labor camp.  She is helping the resistance by smuggling coded messages  out of a bakery and into the tower at her uncle's house where he sends the messages out into the night with his old WWI transmitter.

A young German boy is recruited into the Nazi war machine and given a chance to escape hard labor in the coal mines because he is brilliant and understands radios and transmitters.

A German Colonel searches for a rare diamond possessed by the French which will protect him from death.

These three stories are told over the course of the war culminating in a chance meeting as the allied army begins bombing the town of Saint-Malo.  Will they live or die? Will they find the transmitter? The rare diamond?  Will the imprisoned father ever see his daughter?  Will the German boy ever see his sister again?  Is it love?

All the Light We Cannot See is the beautiful story of young people trying to understand their role in the mad world of war, grapple with the atrocities that they are asked to commit and the danger they must face every day.  Sad story, well written, face paced and so compelling.   I would call it absorbing and delicious.  I soaked in it for days.  Line after line took my breath away.  I would ask, how can someone write such beautiful prose about such horror?

I have one outstanding question that I am not so sure of, so  I want a book group to invite me to their discussion of the book so I can ask about something that puzzled me.

The on-line queue at the library was almost 100 people long--so I requested the LARGE PRINT version--that queue was only about 17 people long.  (Turns out I really almost need large print. No kidding.)  When I saw that my large print book had 769 pages, I decided to cheat a bit and use it for my 500 page book.  Turns out the the regular--non large print version is 531 pages. So no need to cheat.

So yes, let this be your epic novel this year. It is a wonderful story.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Sounds like one to request right away!