Three months in, and I almost didn’t meet my one book quota for March.
However, I am proud to say that, thanks to Jake’s shift schedule, my kids actually staying in bed at bedtime, and my ability to sit in one place for hours at a time, I read 399 pages across two nights and finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr juuuuust in the nick of time.
Everybody told me to read this one after I read The Nightingale in January and asked for light and easy suggestions for my next book.
So, another WWII novel it was!
This particular one follows Marie-Laure, a young French girl who became blind at the age of 6, and Werner, a German orphan recruited by an academy for the Hitler Youth because of his mechanical prowess. The book tracks their respective stories from the beginning of the war to the end until they ultimately (you guessed it) converge.
Someone aptly described Doerr’s writing style to me as something like a scientist with an art degree. His descriptions are so intricately woven together and his voice so captivatingly unique that my tendency to skip entire paragraphs while I read (I know. It’s a terrible habit.) had to go by the wayside for this one.
Like The Nightingale (or most novels I read, for that matter), there is a lot to take from fictional lives within these pages, but one particular conversation keeps running through my mind.
Someone (I’ll never tell who!) tells Marie-Laure that she is very brave.
She responds keenly:
When I lost my sight, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?
I’ve been thinking lately about how sometimes the most extraordinary people don’t even realize how extraordinary they are.
They wake up, take what they’ve been given, and make a choice to do well with it.
No matter the obstacles. No matter the difficulties. No matter the fact that they can’t see to the other side.
They wake up and they live their lives.
And that’s something, if you ask me.
Yes, of course I’m going to give this book away. Like I keep saying, books are worthless when you keep them all to yourself. (Cheers to Jess for getting my highlighted copy of The Screwtape Letters!)
So, if you want me to send you my copy for FREE, you (anyone who is reading these words) have two options:
- Comment straight on this post.
- Comment on or reply to whatever social media outlet led you to this post.
Throw up those hand-raising emojis or give me another recommendation (bearing in mind that I’ve decided to take a break from war-related novels for a few months).
Happy reading! (I mean this literally.)