Original title: All the Light We Cannot See
Edition Language: Russian
Genres: Historical Fiction
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
This autumn seems to be quite disappointing for me. Again, big expectations and not much to be impressed by.
I have this book for a couple of months and was saving it for better times. The cover is utterly gorgeous and it is so pleasant to hold, but the content was not so impressive. I do not know what is the matter as I cannot point out the obvious flaws, it just did not get to me. I had a feeling that the author tries to picture the events as truly as possible, but fails to make it realistic; tries to describe the events in horrific way but it feels very distant like the other universe.
In a word I did not believe the book and did not feel the atmosphere that can be conveying the events in question. I guess terribly small chapters irritated me as well. At first I thought it was cool and convenient, but later on it prevented me from enjoying the book and concentrate on the event. It was like peeking into a window and then another and another and in the end you are not sure where you saw this or that picture. The strange chapter in the end of the book about the rape seems quite strange to me - it is like the author was thinking: "we do not have enough drama, what can been done.. aha, Russians are approaching Berlin... let's picture them cruel dogs as we cannot do the same to Germans, as one of the protagonist is German...but we need to show the cruelty of war... before that everything was so civil and almost clean...now it is time to show those savages in their true colours..." I did not like it, felt dirty and fell out of the book structure.