General Non-Fiction posted October 29, 2017

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Book Review

All The Light We Cannot See

by Maria Jose Garcia

Yesterday, I finished reading All The Light We Cannot See, a 2014 novel written by Anthony Doerr.

His book won the Pulitzer Prize and if I had been a member of the panel I would have agreed with this decision most completely. I think it's one of the best books I have read in a very long time and one that will stay with me forever.

Doerr tells a beautiful story. Simple but wonderfully rounded. He follows the lives of Werner, a German orphan, and Marie Laure, a blind girl living in Paris with her dad. In very short chapters and with numerous flashbacks and flash forwards, we see their lives unfurl till they eventually meet. All this, with the Second World War as a well-researched but unobtrusive backdrop.

However, what makes this book, which took ten years to write, unique is the author's mastery of language and detail. Besides, his prose is so full of imaginative metaphors and wonderful similes that it often reads like poetry.

I have to say I envy Doerr's talent. I think that apart from enjoying myself, I have learned an awful lot reading this marvellous tale. I read almost exclusively on my Kindle, but if I had bought the paperback, I would have underlined something on almost every page.

The themes that populate the pages of ATLWCS are numerous: history repeats itself, the importance of enjoying the present and the fact that we all leave a mark on this earth, even if we think we don't. Every action has a repercussion, even the smallest one.

I leave you with a quote from the book and I hope if you decide to peruse it, you'll enjoy it:

"We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs."


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© Copyright 2018. Maria Jose Garcia All rights reserved.
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