Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Scribner, 544 pages, $27

[4/21/15 Note: Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2015-Fiction]

This is one of those must-read books people joyously pass around to their friends and family. This last Christmas season must have been good to Anthony Doerr and his publisher.

The bottom line is that “All the Light We Cannot See” is not a mystery, even though there is a strong spy element that runs through the novel. Set during the time just before and during World War II, the stories of a young boy and a young blind girl run parallel until they are fated to meet in Saint-Malo, France. The young boy, Werner Pfennig, is German and is being groomed to be a tactical member of the German army. Marie-Laure LeBlanc is the daughter of the keeper of the keys at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Her father is a craftsman who makes a model of the area of Paris in which they live, so his daughter can memorize the streets, giving her more independence.

With sweetness and gravity, Anthony Doerr tells an extraordinary and sometimes fantastical tale of a serendipitous intersection of lives.

Highly, highly recommended, even if you are neither my family nor my friend.

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