“𝘖𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳.“
What an emotional journey!
I’ve been feeling the urge to read WWII historical fiction to try and understand how ordinary people can become so hateful toward their fellow man. This book bears witness to not only the cruelty of the Germans but also the bravery of ordinary citizens and their small acts of resistance.
Anthony Doerr focuses on several characters and how they survived the German occupation of a small French seaside town and ultimately, its bombing by the Allied forces.
Marie-Laure is an especially poignant character, as a young blind girl who lives with her father in Paris at the beginning of story. Her path ultimately crosses with Werner, a young Nazi officer who, like many other Germans, witnesses almost unimaginable acts of brutality committed in the name of the Reich.
The rich detail and the vivid prose of this novel make this one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read. This book doesn’t focus on the battlegrounds but instead on the farms and cafes and houses and people who were all impacted by the Germans and the war. The author thankfully makes the chapters short so there is a brief respite in between reading. I’m looking forward to watching the series on Netflix now that I’ve finished. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I highly recommend reading it.
About the Book:
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful 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.