I picked this book up, because of its many high ratings. I understand now, why it is rated so highly. I enjoyed the beauty of Doerr’s writing. He is a wonderful wordsmith. Using delightful phrases and metaphors, he creates pictures of high detail in one’s mind, weaving a story of a young French girl, who is blind, and a young German boy, both trying to survive World War II.
Doerr causes one to grapple with the cold reality of the Nazis and particularly the Hitler Youth. He illustrates the inner lives of citizens attempting to cope with the chaos and changes brought about by the tragedy of war. This is a book one reads for the value of the vignettes, not an over-arching plot, although there is enough of a subplot to grip one’s attention to the end.
Highly recommended as one of the more pleasurable reads I have had recently.
“From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller 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.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.” [from the publisher]