All the Light We Cannot See
A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise’s father, taking with him the museum’s greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle’s house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers. --Brad Hooper - Booklist
My Thoughts - I loved this book. The story is of Marie-Louise and Werner both children whose lives will be changed because of World War II. The story of Marie-Louise is a beautiful story of the life of a girl who is courageous and amazing during World War II in France. Marie-Louise is blind but that doesn't stop her from helping the French resistance and doing her part to help the allied invasion. Werner, an orphan is chosen to attend a school for the elite boys of Germany and is indoctrinated in the German Nazi philosophy but does not fully accept the Nazi way - he has a mind of his own and proves this when he and Marie-Louise finally meet during the invasion of France by the allies.