I finally got a copy of this one (I’ve been seeing recommendations for it for months) and it absolutely lived up to all the hype!
“When I lost my sight, Werner, 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?”
All the Light We Cannot See follows two young people in the years leading up to and during World War II. We meet Marie-Laure, a blind girl who lives with her father in a museum in France (I know, I’m jealous, too), where he takes care of all the keys, and builds her a miniature version of their town in his free time. They eventually flee to a coastal town in France to live with her uncle when she’s twelve. Then there’s Werner — a mathematical and engineering genius who lives in an orphanage with his sister in coal-mining town in Germany. Desperate to avoid a short, miserable life in the mines, he joins the Hitler Youth when he turns sixteen.
The book contains many subplots — Werner’s troubles and triumphs at school, Marie-Laure’s damaged uncle, a mysterious gem that may or may not be in her father’s possession. The stories intertwine and build off of each other, and I could not put this damn book down for the three nights it took me to read it. Doerr’s writing is beautiful, and the characters seem incredibly real. I would recommend it to any historical fiction fan (assuming you haven’t already read it!)