Thursday, July 16, 2015
Two Book Reviews for the Price of One!
I had a hard time with this book. Let me say up front that I know the value of this type of book. If we forget the past, we may be doomed to repeat it. However the subject matter of All The Light We Cannot See is very dark, as it should be for the story it relates to the reader. I am a pretty "tough" reader...I can take most of what a good author dishes out but this book really got to me. So be warned!!
This novel is set in the early days of World War 2. Marie Laure lives with her father who is the lock keeper at a Paris museum. Her mother has died and Marie Laure is afflicted with cataracts that cause her to be blind at the age of seven. ( As a nurse this was so sad to me...today those cataracts would be removed and she would have her sight!!). With winds of war in the air, the museum begins to hide many of its treasured pieces including a diamond that has quite a story of doom associated with it! This story line was just an aside to me as I read the book. I was more interested in the people of the story.
Marie Laure's father was very intentional in preparing Marie Laure to be able to be independent in spite of her blindness so he created a miniature replica of Paris for her to become familiar with and to memorize. However that little city is left behind as Marie Laure and her father must leave Paris to go to Saint Malo and live with her father's eccentric uncle, Etienne. Meanwhile in Germany a brilliant little orphan boy by the name of Werner is being schooled in all the ways of the Reich. I thought the author did a good job in relating the hold that Hitler had over this country and how he bred viciousness and cruelty in those who served him. While Werner knew that what they were doing was wrong, he felt helpless to do anything about it as a teenager. Marie Laure's world collides with Werner's when the Germans come to France. We know how the book ends...Hitler is defeated! But one of the most inspiring sub stories in this novel is the old women of France, who in spite of their age felt that they must fight for right. " To Do Nothing is to Collaborate(with the Germans) says Madame Manec, the housekeeper to Etienne. I do not want to give too much information or spoilers because I hate when reviewers do that, so read it for yourself! I found I could read it only in small increments of time as it was a deep and dark book.
So now I am re reading The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills. There is much hoopla here in Alabama regarding the release of Harper Lee's "lost" book, Go Set A Watchman. I have read the reviews and I almost decided to skip this book but I have changed my mind and I will give it a go. I will let you know my opinion when I have turned the last page!!