Historical fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

There has been a recent increase in the WWII books that I have been getting my hands on. I thought that the emotions involved in the descriptions of those imprisoned within that life, would eventually turn repetitive. With this book, I have been proved wrong once again. I should not doubt a good author’s capacity to describe the varied emotions within a human.

The story is of two children ,Marie-Laure and Werner, trapped on either side of a war being waged by people with nasty agendas.This may seem a bland way to try to summarize such a book but I will try to make myself more clear in the following paragraph.

There are statements made in the book which could define the landscape in which the book is written,one of them is :” we will drive over everything that once was” by a despondent participant of the German army. We see Marie, a Parisian by birth, seeking refuge at her grand-uncle’s place in Saint-Malo as Allies come to their aid, by bombing their town. She has no way to analyze her situation due to the fact that she is completely blind. We also see her past and how she came to be in her current position.Werner, a german orphan, is a technical wizard and we see his roots.We watch him grow,live life the best way he thinks he can, while continuing to survive. We can only watch in a helpless fashion, as the horrific events unfold. Their paths cross very briefly, but the things that brings them together is crucial to their respective survivals at the time. Their conversation included a discussion on what constituted bravery and that brought fresh tears to my eyes. They play but minor roles in the greater picture of the war, but the lives that intertwine around them, leave lasting fears and questions.There is magic in the words and at the end of it all we can but marvel at the resilience of the human spirit.

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