Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
~Book Club Selection~ A Novel Idea’s book for May!
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
This book was so beautiful and haunting, a story of the broken destinies of two young protagonists, during World War II. There is Marie-Laure, a French blind girl, forced to flee Paris and the routine of her safe and familiar life, with her father. Then there is snow-haired Werner, a young German private, keen, resourceful and thrown in a war he doesn’t fathom.
Marie-Laure lives with her father near the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Her father works as the “master of its thousands of locks”. Ever since Marie-Laure went blind at the age of six, she as been memorizing the neighborhood via a perfect miniature rendition her father has made. She can navigate easily now. Then the war comes when she is twelve. Her and her father flee to an uncles house by the sea, where they think they will be safe. Although with them, they happen to carry the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In Germany, Werner grows up with his younger sister Jutta and many others at an orphanage. They find an old radio one day and their lives were changed forever. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
All the Light We Cannot See is undeniably a masterpiece. The characters are well developed throughout the novel, the settings are lush with expository passages that help entrench the reader in Marie-Laure’s sightless world, and is ultimately a novel of optimism in a time of doom. This is a highly recommended read!