25 August 2015

#Sassybooks : All The Light We Cannot See Review


I have been a bit close to the wire with Sassy Books reviews before, but this one takes the biscuit!  For those of you that don't know, Sassy Books is a book club ran by Hayley and Charlotte.  A book is chosen monthly and then on the last Tuesday of the month we all share our reviews.  Well as I sit down to write this it is 00:10 on Tuesday morning and I have just finished reading!  I did it!  Only just, but I did.  So I apologise of my thoughts on this book aren't as in depth as they could be, but I haven't had much chance to let my thoughts process, and I've skipped my usual photo editing for this post.  From what I saw on twitter I wasn't the only one struggling to finish this month so that made me feel a bit better.  Anyway without further adeu, let's delve into this month's book!  All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

''Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.''

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.

This is a book story set in the war, but it is not a 'war story' in the typical sense.  and I think this is an important difference.  It doesn't fall into the trap of getting bogged down in the history or politics, but it formed a very important background and context to the whole book.  It really brought into focus the horror of war from perspectives I've never seen before in any medium.  That of ordinary French citizens living in awful and extraordinary circumstances, and sometimes most surprising, that of a German boy indoctrinated into the Nazi party.  It's hard to go into too much detail here without giving something away but you get to see a different and complex side to characters you might have previously made assumptions about.  The characters and their progression is very complex but also incredibly clear.  As someone who works for a non-fiction military history publisher I've picked up some historical context here and there and from my limited knowledge this fits, however the story is very much none fiction.  

This is one of the rare books that is lengthy and detail filled and yet none of it seems unnecessary.  All the chapters are short, usually just a page or two each and I think this adds to the pace, it doesn't give the reader the chance to get bogged down in unnecessary details.

In short, this book is beautifully writtern.  It it is almost portry at times, the imaganary and emotional portrayal is stunning,  The only slight issue I have with this book is that the poetry of the language got in the way of me truley connecting with the characters.  Of course not all books require this from it's readers but it was a shame I couldn't get more emotionally invested because of this..

This book is really unique it is one of the few books I have read recently where I didn't have the slightest clue what was going to happen and I didn't even try to find out.  I just let the emotions and story flow through me.

Have you read this?  I'd love to know your thoughts!  Don't forget you can follow me on Goodreads and Instagram to keep up with my reading exploits!
Bonus celebratory pic of me getting it finished!

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