Thursday, February 2, 2017

All the Light we Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

This was a beautiful book. Sad, brutal at parts, but beautiful. It puts a very human face on the tragedy of war, and does so in a fresh way.

The writing is at times too descriptive for my personal tastes, a bit too poetic, and I do sometimes wonder if someone who uses the verb “purl” twice within twenty pages is maybe trying a little too hard. However, this is all very subjective, and overall I really liked and admired the writing itself: the velvety language and unusual combinations, the perfect choice of details, the slow builds.

The main characters were well-drawn and I the author made me love them.

The story moved slowly at times, but in that rich, beautiful way that I like.

The plot was engaging, all the separate strands working well together.

I did get temporarily confused sometimes with the time jumping because the author didn't always do enough to orient us at the beginning of each jump, instead just dating the sections and expecting us to remember the dates of the others sections. I never remember dates like that, so I had to flip back and forth a couple of times. Still, a minor issue.

I did wonder about a few small details, like the can of homemade peaches. Wouldn't it be a bottle? A few things about the resistance's communication didn't quite make sense to me either, but that was probably just me. Again, tiny issues in such an good novel.

The ending worked for me, though most if it was pretty sad. Yet amid all the sadness--through the whole book--there was hope and beauty too.

A very, very good book.

4.5 Stars   

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