Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Voice in the Darkness: "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

It is the 1930s. Marie-Laure, a young French girl, living with her father, finds herself losing her sight. Her father, who works at  a Natural History Museum as master of all the keys, is devoted to her and will help her to reach independence and to keep her inquisitive intelligence despite her blindness.
Meanwhile, in Germany, a German orphan named Werner lives with his sister, Jutta, in an orphan home run by an older French woman. He, too, has an inquisitive mind, and one day brings home an old radio he finds on an excursion and figures out how to make it work. This opens up a whole new world for him, his sister and the others living in the home as they listen to music and news and late at night, he and Jutta listen to a lone voice talking about science and the world of the mind and Werner sees his future before him. Or does he?
Will these two cross paths one day? What awaits them at the onset of WWII and all the tragedy and deprivation and horror that will bring? Mr. Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See is a luminous masterpiece of storytelling. These young people and the world around them come alive as we follow them through this tale of survival of the spirit and of bravery in the face of all odds. Highly, highly recommended.