Bon's Book Club book for August
All the Light We Cannot See
This book was split up between August and half of September because of the size of it. Over 500 pages, but every single page is SO worth it!
I am a huge fan of Holocaust period books, or anything to do with that time period. Not because I enjoy learning about it, but I enjoy learning about how different situations were handled and how they survived. In high school I was in the play Anne Frank, and throughout school I came upon multiple survivor books that really intrigued me.
This is at the top of my favorites list right now. This book was EXCELLENT! It gets 5 stars! I cant put the summary in better words than this, taken from Bon's Book Club:
While set mostly in Germany and France before and during the war--is not really a “war novel”. Yes, there is fear and fighting and disappearance and death, but the author’s focus is on the interior lives of his two characters. Marie Laure is a blind 14-year-old French girl who flees to the countryside when her father disappears from Nazi-occupied Paris. Werner is a gadget-obsessed German orphan whose skills admit him to a brutal branch of Hitler Youth. Never mind that their paths don’t cross until very late in the novel, this is not a book you read for plot (although there is a wonderful, mysterious subplot about a stolen gem). This is a book you read for the beauty of Doerr’s writing-- “Abyss in her gut, desert in her throat, Marie-Laure takes one of the cans of food…”--and for the way he understands and cherishes the magical obsessions of childhood. Marie Laure and Werner are never quaint or twee. Instead they are powerful examples of the way average people in trying times must decide daily between morality and survival.
You can read Bonnie's review of the book here.
As I was reading through her review of the book I couldn't help but agree with most of what she said. This was an absolutely beautifully written book. His descriptions of everything made it all seem so real. I felt like I was in Paris in the fall, in an attic holding a can of peaches, buried in a basement with rotten paint water to drink.
I agree that the characters were very likable. Werner and Marie-Laure were wonderful characters. I loved that they were so independent and strong. They did have many obstacles to overcome but they did it bravely and beautifully. I am with Bonnie in the fact that I felt like Doerr could've given us a little more of a reward for reading 90% of the book, than 6 pages of Werner and Marie-Laure together. Then on top of that to kill off Werner and have Jutta so unhappy.
This book is one that I would read over and over again! Even though there were things that I didn't like and the plot was slow, I feel like I lived in this book and its a part of me now.
Next Month's book: The Happiness Project.
(I am almost done with this book and just bought her next book Happiness at Home. It is a fantastic and quick read if you want to jump in for October. Reviews going up October 8)