Set and France and Germany during WWII All The Light We Cannot See explores what it means to do right even when it appears to be the wrong choice. We meet Marie-Laure a blind girl in France with a love for natural history and a honest interaction with the world around her. We meet Werner, a curious boy in Germany with a passion for tinkering and an unrivaled curiosity. Their stories ebb and flow and finally intertwine in a innocent and heartbreaking way. We meet Marie-Laure’s devoted father, whose choice (though made with the best of intentions) to assist in the concealment and transport of a rare jewel may prove to be more dangerous than he could even imagine. Human greed, bravery, innocence and appreciation for the world around us are just a few of the themes explored in this wonderful work of fiction. Portions of this story are borderline philosophical (for those who have read it think Marie-Laure in the field with Madame Manec thinking about the bees) and cause us to question the very meaning of being.
“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”
“The grotto itself comprises its own slick universe, and inside this universe spin countless galaxies: here, in the upturned half of a single mussel shell, lives a barnacle and a tiny spindle shell occupied by a still smaller hermit crab. And on the shell of the crab? A yet smaller barnacle. And on that barnacle?”
This truly moving story which forces us to look a bit more closely at the world around us and appreciate what often goes unnoticed. A tale of having courage in the face of adversity and redemption after being led astray. I highly recommend this novel to those who loved The Book Thief and Sarah’s Key.
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