"You know the greatest lesson of history? It's that history is whatever the victors say it is. That's the lesson. Whoever wins, that's who decides the history." ~ pg. 94
This, bookhearts, is literature. The prose, the timed pauses and careful unrevealing of characters are what makes the story of a blind french girl and a german boy so hopeful. Their paths collide in France as they are both trying to survive World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris, who is the best locksmith around. When she is six years old, she goes blind. Her father builds a mini-neighborhood so she can memorize it and navigate her way home. When she is twelve years old, they flee Paris carrying a museum's most valuable jewel.
In another part of the world, an orphan boy named Werner grows up in Germany. He finds a radio and soon becomes an expert at building and fixing instruments. His skills earns him a special assignment in the war where he travels into Saint-Malo, a walled city where Marie-Laure now resides. And this is where their lives meet.
"He says she is his émerveillement." ~ pg. 38
I understand why All the Light We Cannot See was ten years in the making. Doerr took his time writing this novel of metaphors and well crafted language. Though at times, I was impatient with such long descriptions because I wanted to get into the heart of the story. So it took me much longer to read it than usual. When I started this buddy read with Sistah A, I was a bit thrown off in a good way. Having previously read books of a different genre, I was not expecting deep sentences and a history lesson. Especially not over 600 pages worth!
So as not to burn myself out, I made the wise bookish choice to read it steadily while I read other books. I highly suggest the same for others. Read it in intervals perhaps during commutes or quiet winter evenings only. This way you will appreciate the overall story after reading its last page, as I have. Critics call All the Light We Cannot See the book of the century. Hmmm, I respectfully disagree but think it has the potential to translate better on the big screen. So take your time with this one, bookhearts.
"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever." ~ pg. 274
Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doer
Published: May 2014
Challenge: New Author; Popsugar Pulitzer Prize Winning Book; Popsugar Book Over 500 Pages