Sometimes I struggle to write a review. Not true this time. All the Light We Cannot See was sent to me by the publisher in two forms - audio and hardback print. It's wonderful. I was mesmerized from the beginning. The plot would seem to circle around the loss of a famous diamond that is cursed and housed in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. It is said that whoever possesses the diamond will live forever but will lose all his friends and family, one by one. So the story begins.
Yet this is a tale of war and of the people it affects. There is a French girl, Marie-Laure, who is blind and lives with her beloved father who works as a locksmith for the museum. There is an orphan boy, Werner, who is entranced with radios and how they work and finds himself recruited into German youth training. There is a self-centered general, Von Rumpel, whose cruelty is matched only by his drive to find the diamond that may save his life. These are key characters, yes, but others add so much depth.
Marie-Laure's uncle and his housekeeper are active in the resistance and risk their lives daily. The reader can't help but experience their fear and courage as they continue to work against German occupation. There is Werner's sister, Jutta, who struggles to survive starvation, rape and war itself and thinking often about her brother. Volkheimer, the gentle giant with a cruel reputation, was a friend to Werner but whose friendship he questions. Will he expose Werner's actions when they do not support the war? And, there is Frederick whose love for birds and independent thought expose him to beatings during training that damage his brain yet leave him living.
Can I write more? Yes, there is the reality of war, hope and survival expressed over and over again. This is a novel to be read, experienced and remembered. I absolutely loved it and can't recommend it enough. I'm overjoyed that the publisher sent it.
What an amazingly simple yet complex story told in two voice that connect the reader and the characters together. This book was smooth and I mean that it does not have a fast paced plot or twists and turns. It continues on as life in that time did. You experience life and as they do, hope for all the best it has to offer. Beautiful writing, wonderful characters and strength. A must read.
This book was an excellent read. I loved the story and the characters are so strong. I admire so much the hardships people in a war country have to endure and how they survived all the terrible things they went thru. It is a super read.
A beautifully detailed story set in occupied France and mostly told through the eyes of a blind girl and a boy with big hopes and dreams (and the brain and skills to achieve them) who is forced to become a Hitler youth. The plot was extremely original for the subject matter, and the characters jumped out of the pages.