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Betsy Recommends

  • $27.00
    ISBN-13: 9781476746586
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Scribner Book Company, 5/2014
    A Parisian child—a blind girl whose father works at the Natural History Museum—and a German orphan who’s a natural-born inventor, are the beating heart of this incandescent WWII novel. As we follow them from childhood into adolescence, we follow the course of the war in each country—France and Germany—seeing the devastation it wreaks on the fabric of life, the extraordinary ways each child copes. In some ways this is a fairy tale from Grimm, at least metaphorically—two children alone in a dark wood, the lurking ogre, the Nazi regime. Yet the narrative owes more to Dickens than Grimm, both socially and in terms of Marie-Laure and Werner. To know them is to love them and we follow their paths with growing admiration, watch them grow and toughen our alarm increasing as war engulfs their lives. The writing in Doerr’s novel is stunning, the past/present rhythm of the narrative creates a heart-in-throat tension, scenes between characters are heart-wrenching, tear-blinding, and the underlying plot is so clever it borders on magical. Doerr reminds us of the light that exists in dark times with his iridescent language and with his abiding compassion, his faith in our capacity to love as well as hate, dare as well as cower and cave in, open our hearts. All the Light We Cannot See shines a beneficent light on all of us. It’s an extraordinary book—a once in a lifetime book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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