Monday, August 11, 2014

All the light we cannot see

By: Anthony Doerr
Location: FIO DOE

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

This book ten years to write! Ten years- the author poured his every ounce into this book.

I met a German man a few years back, in his home, in a nice German village in the middle of rolling green hills. He was in his 80's and he was made to fight with the Nazi's, he did not want to, neither did his twin, but it was join or be shot.   His fear was that he would be made to shot a man and he did not want to do that. He was the kindest man you could met and the voice of pain that retells this story tells you the utter helplessness he felt in being in a war he did not want, for him, for his country, for humanity.
This man had a meal a few years back, with another 80 year old man, a Kiwi, from a nice village with green rolling hills in New Zealand- Cambridge. He also had to go to war, he also did not want to, did not want to kill another man.
These two old men, both in their 80's, stuck in a war that demanded 18 year old lads to look through a sited gun and blow each other up- sat at the same table 60 years later, thanking God they could and remembered that war is not selective. They held hands and they shed tears.
I know them both!
War imposes on you stories, places, horrors, actions that violate your core beliefs, war steals your rights and your ability to hold fast to values that have built you to be the person you are. War rapes.
This story is like my two friends, two people that war has imposed and forced a story upon.

A beautifully written work of historical fiction with chapters alternating between Marie -Laure a young blind French girl who flees occupied Paris with her father , a key master of the Natural Museum of history, and Werner a German orphan whose interest inspired tinkering with an old radio lend him technical skills which plummet him headlong into a Hiltler Youth group, and lead him directly into the heart of the war. Although there is much more to the story (a true page turner) for me the underlying message was the innocence and humanity of these two young characters as their lives are sadly forced to take paths which will someday have them meet as enemies. Camie -

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