All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr. Scribner, 2014. 978-1-4767-4658-6
I don’t think I can say much that hasn’t already been said about this beautiful novel. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the Alex Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award … the accolades are well deserved.
One of the main characters, Marie-Laure, is the daughter of a locksmith; the other main character, Werner, is a prodigy with radios and electronics. Doerr writes with the same attention to detail and narrow attention of a locksmith or an engineer, creating a delicately interlocking plot that weaves back and forth in time and place. This is a novel about World War II but its power is in the details: ration tickets, snail shells, museum corridors, loaves of bread, small kindnesses and small cruelties. After reading it, I feel as though I lived through the war, on both sides.