March 18, 2016

All the Light We Cannot See

Hello everyone,

Another Friday is here and here I am again. It´s been a very busy week with an econometrics test and a massive paper to deliver, cause in my university there is this little thing in which teachers decides to send homework one day to another (how nice is that?). Fortunately I have a few vacation days now and I will have more time to dedicate to the blog and my reading.

Last Sunday I finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It took me a while to read this book but it wasn´t that I didn´t love the story or the writing style, that was nothing but brilliant. It was that this is the kind of book that you want to keep reading for as long as you can even when some parts of the story are so hard to read. This book is actually one of the most brilliant books that I´ve read lately and considering that belong in a genre that I do not usually read is a lot to say.

I tend to dislike books that talk about the recent past (considering recent past from the last 1800 until the 50s), but the great thing about All the Lights We Cannot See is that World War II is just a secondary element to the story, is just a way to put you in a context. The main focus in the book is the characters that were so wonderfully develop. Maybe this happens because you meet them when they were little and follow all they growing not just fiscally but morally as well.

The story is hard, let´s be realistic. It´s a period in history that was awful whether you were in one side or the other. If you were in one of the surrounding countries of Germy you would be most likely starving or in a concentration camp, condemned for the most absurd things and doing heavy jobs for several hours. If you were German either you were part of the Nazis (as it´s indirectly said in the book) or, have good contacts or you would be working several hours as if you were in a concentration camp. I think that one of the things that the author is trying to say is that a war is not good in any case, and he tries to prove it thought the characters.

In one hand we have Marie-Laure a French girl whose father was taken away from her. This is so hard for the little girl she was when it happened and it´s so devastating to us, the readers. Besides she was blinded by a disease when she was so young and had to learn how to live like that, because at the beginning of the book se was able to see. Marie, need to re-learn how to move into the world, how to read… When her father is taken into a concentration camp she was left with her uncle Etienne, who of course takes care of her, but is not the same.

The other main character is Werner: a German orphan boy who is really smart. He wants to learn and that´s the main focus of the character for most of the book. And he actually was a coward for most of the story. I guess most of us would behave like him if we were in those situations but there is so many times in which he knows he is not doing right that, at least I, was not able to love the character. His moral compass was his sister who is much more likeable than he is.

The horrors of the war are shown thought so many characters, but I think that the most clear examples are: Etienne and Volkheimer. The first one lived thought both World Wars, and after the first one he end up agoraphobic, however he is able to beat it out of his love for his niece. Volkheimer, case is least clear, because he did such terrible things that we see though Werner, but in doing those things he end up being miserable.

Another of the thing that this book shows so clearly is two of the most common things in humans: evil and greed. The evil is shown through the entire book, but the one that called my attention the most was the attack on Frederick and how he ended because of that. The greed is explain thought the See of Flames, the diamond that many seek but when found cause so much disgrace.

All the Light We Cannot See have all the ingredients to be a 5 stars books, but I ended giving it 4 out of 5 stars as you can see in my good reads profile. Why is that? Well it is so simple: the story was so beautiful and the world building, as well as the characters, was amazing. However there is a thing about this book that I strongly dislike: the story was built so well for 400 pages and then the ending is so rush. For me it felt like if the author was suddenly tired of writing and decided to end it.  

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