Tuesday, April 28, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See: Anthony Doerr

Saint Malo
Congratulations to Anthony Doerr for wining the Pulitzer in fiction for his second novel, All the Light We Cannot See. I was amazed to find a Pulitzer awarded to a book I’ve actually read. Further more, I found the book tremendously enjoyable.

It’s a historical fiction story set in France during World War II. The heroine, Marie-Laure cannot see. She lost her sight at the age of six. A few years later the Nazis invade Paris. Marie and her father, Daniel LeBlanc flee to Saint Malo on the French coast to live with her odd Uncle Etienne.

Her father is a curator at a Paris Museum of Natural History, and he is entrusted to protect the Sea of Flames from the Nazi horde. It is a rare diamond highly sought by the Nazis.

Werner Pfennig lives in an orphanage with his sister in Germany. He has a knack for technology and radios. The Germans send him to a Nazi youth camp to further his knowledge. While there he designs a system for locating radio messages. After graduation, he uses the device to hunt resistance fighters through radio waves.

Doerr weaves the three story lines in an intricate pattern. Less skilled authors would lose things in a complex story including the reader, but Doerr masters the writing art. He keeps everything neat and tidy so the story flows smoothly through the transitions. He weaves description and science into the story in adequate amounts making for an entertaining read.

I found the story suspenseful and intriguing. It was not a quick read. This is not a beach book or a story that can be finished on the red eye from Atlanta to Seattle. It will pique your interest and cause you to seek more information on the topic.  

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