I just posted to the book club group that I have finally finished this mammoth read, for a large part of the book I really didn't think I would finish it, it was tough going for a while there and felt drawn out, but I persevered and I have to say, I am so happy that I did. I'm so glad I pushed through the middle, because it such a beautiful story of life, sacrifice, love and everything it means to truly see the light in all that we experience.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is the story of a young blind Marie-Laure who lives with her father in Paris during the Nazi invasion.
It is also the story of Werner, a German orphan, who finds himself deep within the brutal military academy and later goes on to join the army.
Whilst Marie-Laure and Werner are the two main characters of the story this book weaves tales of so many more personality's and I found myself immersed in all of their stories.
I was immediately drawn into the novel, with the stunningly beautiful prose, so full of metaphors and brimming with images that truly brought everything to life.
Seeing the world through the eyes of a young blind girl was so inspiring to me, her will to live and determination to lead a great life regardless of everything that is thrown her way is really quite remarkable.
Doerr was amazingly brilliant at allowing me to see what it is like to be blind, I truly felt as though I was walking that path with Marie-Laure.
The back drop of the horrendous nature of war was at times hard to stomach but the way the characters intertwined and shone their light no matter their circumstance made for brilliant reading.
I must admit, at times I felt it a little drawn out. There was a large portion through the centre of the book where I really felt that I would put it down and not pick it back up. I felt I was trudging, not getting anywhere, but I kept going, to see the beautiful light towards the end of the story.
Is this what makes a great read? That immense frustration at times, only to be rewarded with the sheer beauty that this delivered?
Doerr's ability to have you connect with each and every one of the characters between the pages is quite uncanny really. For most novels we connect with a character or two but here you can't help but fall in love with almost all of them.
The last 50 odd pages, which I believe should've have been titled as the Epilogue were a little disruptive to the connection I had felt with the characters. Given that it is thirty years on from the war, this part of the story really is simply a 'wrap up' of the main characters. For me the actual story ended well before that.
Thoughts from the Book Club Girls - Beautiful, touching, a little drawn out at times, were main sentiments that came through.
In simple pleasures you will find life's treasures,