This past weekend, our “Best Book Club Ever” got together to discuss “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.
And in honor of Veteran’s Day today, I thought it befitting to share a bit about a beautifully written tale revolving around a subject so deplorable as war…. World War II in particular…. one of the darkest periods in our history. Yet one that needs discussed…. and one I came to a deeper understanding of through this novel.
Our book club, which consists of 26 men and women, gave this book an average rating of 8.5 out of 10, which is one of the best ratings this eclectic group of ages and backgrounds has given a book.
Though you can certainly read a good summary of this Best Book of the Month on Amazon, I thought I would help spread the word because I feel so passionately about this book.
The thing I especially loved, for maybe the first time in reading a book I have to say – or at least in a long time, is the true beauty of the writing.
Doerr has a magical way of heightening our senses through the most gorgeous metaphors. Maybe I am more aware now that I am trying to write a bit more myself, but this is a book that I didn’t want to rush through to finish as I often do because I am typically reading a book for the story – not the writing.
But this book was one I wanted to absorb into my pores.
I savored each word in each sentence.
The descriptive similes the author used, such as expressing the passing of time in a number of heartbeats, gave me a deeper appreciation for the most simple things in life.
It’s no wonder it took Doerr TEN YEARS to write this book! When you create statements like this:
“And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfenning might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it.”
Are you gasping and sighing as I am even though I have read this many times?
It is such a good thing that Doerr created such short “chapters” that allow us the time to breathe and sigh and let the words sink in and absorb them into our souls.
Though confused a bit at first at how each “chapter” alternates between the tale of a blind French girl and a young German soldier during World War II, it slowly
and heartbreakingly beautifully
comes together as the story goes on.
I loved the way Doerr heightened my own senses by expressing the most minute of details one becomes aware of when losing our sense of sight.
If you are a a reader, I hope you will consider this story that illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
And while we are on “the subject” of Veterans and Veteran’s Day, thank you to all of those that have served and are currently serving in our armed forces, and thank you to those whose lives we’ve lost in their pursuit of our freedom.
Cheers & Hugs,