My rating: 4 stars
Novels set during the Second World War tend to appeal to me. So, it was with high expectations that I started reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It explores how people are still capable of acts of kindness even when they are taught to hate and be violent. Through the use of alternating timelines, the reader is introduced to Marie-Laure and Werner, who have their lives affected by the brutality of war.
The narration of the story starts in 1944. Half of western France has already been liberated from the Nazi grip, but Saint-Malo is still under an air-attack. Marie-Laure, a blind 16-year-old girl, lives at rue Vauborel and owns a model of the city. Werner Pfennig is at the time a private in the German army who is staying at the Hôtel des Abeilles.
We then travel back in time. Ten years earlier, Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father, who works as a locksmith at the Natural History Museum. One day she does a guided tour at the museum and is told the story of the Sea of Flames, featuring quite a valuable diamond. She is losing her eyesight and one month later she is blind. The way in which going blind affects Marie’s daily life is meticulously described. Continue reading