Sunday, August 23, 2015

All The Light We Cannot See in review

What an EPIC read by Anthony Doerr

A New York Times Bestseller…
A Pulitzer Prize winner!

I loved it.

If you haven't read this magical novel…
but you plan to…
maybe you shouldn't read this.
I won't be cautious in my writing 
or alert you to any spoilers.

Take a few days…
go read it…
and come back to this.

A quick synopsis of the book…
Doerr takes a moment in history, a rare gem, 
two people with huge obstacles and knowledge of 
 to weave a story that is 
ridiculously captivating, 
thought provoking and 
deeply moving.

In a little more detail…
A curious French girl goes blind... 
a German orphan boy 
with an amazing talent for working and building radios…
find themselves moving through life
and eventually…
their stories weave together.

The book was presented like short chapters
of a journal entry. 
It didn't captivate me until I got to
around page 80.
By the way, this is another doozie…530 pages.

Vanessa and Amanda had both read it and 
encouraged me to keep turning the pages.

I'm so glad I did.

I kept thinking about the title.
What did it mean?  

I thought…could he be referencing the light 
they found in the darkness of wartime?

As you read the dual story,
you wonder how soon it is before the two 
are going to meet.
Let me tell you...
You read almost the entire book 
before they actually
come face to face.

I was hoping for a romance and a fairy tale ending…
because it seemed like that is where it would go.

However, true love would be too predictable as an ending. 

We are often reminded that life doesn't always
turn out as planned.
I kept waiting for their lives to intersect…
and it was for less than 24 hours.


Why did she protect the diamond to then toss it away?

Why is there no resolution about her father?

Why was Frederick in the wrong place in life at the wrong time? 

The unknown questions were frustrating but created 
a realistic and real world.
No fairy tale here.

When do we ever get things wrapped up all pretty
and from what I have read about war…
you end up with a lot of things we may
never know.

You would think we would be hardened to 
the descriptions of war…
the chaos, the bloodshed, 
the evil.

so destructive.  
Yet these two…it never
annihilated their hope…
or mine for them.

This young man trapped in darkness…
listens to a girl's voice over the radio…
he hoped…she hoped.

I paused sometimes in my reading…
thinking about some of my why's.
I thought about the metaphors and his lyrical writing.

I thought about when Vanessa and I were little girls.
One day our brother wanted to show us a prism he had.
I can distinctly remember being in the back yard and he said 
watch this.
We watched him take this gem like stone and tilt it and 
it reflected light.
How was it possible this prism separated white light
into a spectrum of colors?
It was so beautiful…we wanted to hold it…
we wanted one of our own.

Our own Sea of Flames.

Light we cannot see.

It brought the book together for me in a way.
All the light we cannot see…could this be my interpretation.
His radio waves…unseen…but heard.
The stone…unseen…but wanted.
The journey.

The brain has power to create light in darkness…
he was in the darkness of the coal mine listening to her voice…
her blindness never shown as something to pity. 

The light in this book shoots from 
many different directions and every time I saw it…
it seemed like pure magic.

Gems are made valuable and in this case, powerful by
those who seek them but remain nothing
more than stones found in a creek to others.

What did he do with the stone?

Why did Doerr have them meet for literally an instant…
and then he died…
 his death came out of nowhere for me.

I loved his bravest moment…
when he confronts Von Rumpel.

It states, "All your life you wait, 
and then it finally comes, and are you ready?"

Are you ready to open your eyes and see what you can with them?
Do you want to be alive before you die?
Do you want to LIVE before you die?

Perhaps, instead of pursuing diamonds,
money, treasures…

instead of going to war and destroying lives…
instead of listening to nationalized propaganda…

instead of the mundane…mindless…meaningless
things we choose to pursue…

Why don't we pursue "all that we cannot see"…
Why don't we listen to and become more aware?

The plight of everyman is to live the life presented...
even under the most discouraging circumstances. 

These two lives are
beautifully embodied in this epic tale.

They lived.  

They plodded.

They held out hope.

They were the light.