Here I find myself in May only having finished three complete books for my reading challenge for 2016. I think I might be the slowest reader who ever decided to tackle a reading challenge. I don’t know how people read four, five, even six books in a month. I’m lucky if I finish one! I’m equally terrible at reading while on vacation so even though I brought my next book on our California excursion I’m still not finished.
But I digress, let’s talk about a book I did finish: All the Light We Cannot See I won’t sugar coat things, I loved this book. My sister-in-law first mentioned Anthony Doerr’s best-selling novel to Jordan and I last year. We purchased a copy in the fall, intending on reading it together before bed, but first trimester exhaustion had me falling asleep hours before Jordan so there it sat, unread on my nightstand, for months!
The story follows Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a young blind girl, who lives with her father in Paris and Werner Pfennig, an orphan who is swooped up and enrolled in the academy for Hitler Youth because of his incredible mechanical skills. The book jumps between their two stories, across dates and time periods until ultimately their lives intertwine. It would be hard to follow if it weren’t for Doerr’s extremely short chapters and beautiful lyrical prose.
I was predisposed to like this book. Historical fiction, especially taking place during The Great Wars, is one of my favorite genres. I have heard criticism that ultimately this plot leads nowhere, but that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed ATLWCS so much. Wars interrupt the mundane for common people in simple villages. Even when great battles happen potentially a few miles away, you will still find men and women cooking soup, milking cows and mending socks.
“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
Have you read All the Light We Cannot See?