Friday, 31 July 2015

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See is an historical fiction novel written by Anthony Doerr. This book is set during World War II. The two main characters are Marie-Laure, a young blind French girl whose father works in a museum before they have to leave their home because of the war and Werner, an orphan, living in Nazi Germany who goes away to a school to attempt to pursue his love of fixing devices. And a stone which holds special powers...

I'm so split about this book. One part of me really, really loved the poetry feel of it all and the metaphors used and I can't even explain.. the language was just really beautiful. The other part was disappointed. It dragged on. I didn't think much was happening. I felt Doerr spent too much time building up and setting the scene when the best part of the book was the last one hundred to two hundred pages.

Then there is the format of the book. I really liked the short chapters giving little insights into the main characters lives. I just couldn't stand the time jumping. It drove me crazy. I got confused. I think it doesn't help that I had some time away from the book and didn't read it in long sittings but that's not how I read. I'm just gonna have to face it.. I like books in chronological order. I'm probably going to miss out on a load of great books that aren't chronological but hey we all have our preferences. I do really love books which have two or three different main characters and a short section of their story in a chapter and switching between the main characters but unfortunately for me, I think the negatives outweighed the positives for me.

The last 200 hundred-ish pages of this book were great. I loved them. Things were happening. I was desperate for Marie-Laure and Werner to meet. I was really rooting for them both. I wanted Werner to "win", he had to come out of the other side and well Marie-Laure was just admirable throughout for no reason in particular. I just liked her. I really enjoyed the way the book turned out, it may not have been happy but I liked that. I don't want to add any spoilers but some people did not make it and I was sad but it didn't ruin the book for me because I did like the end.

I'm unsure whether I would recommend this book to anyone. I generously gave the book 4 stars out of 5 but maybe it's more 3 and a half.