Editor: Anthony Doerr
First Published: May 6th 2014
Series: Stand alone
Genre: Historical Fiction, World War II
Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook
My Copy: Physical Copy
My Overall Rating: 8/10
This book follows the story of two people: Marie-Laure and Werner, one French and the other German, basically on opposing sides of the war. The story begins with Marie-Laure and her ordinary life in Paris, until her world is flung upside down when the Germans invade and her father is taken away. Her story is a difficult one, where she is left alone at a young age, with only family friends to take care of her. Nevertheless, she never loses hope in humanity, which I think is the beautiful part.
Then there is Werner, a boy older than Marie-Laure. He is an orphan, with his sister Jutta as his only relative. A boy who is particularly talented in physics and mechanics, we follow his story, beginning in the orphanage towards the end. Personally, I enjoyed reading Werner's chapters slightly more. He starts off innocent and seeing the best in everyone he meets, but life really wears him down, especially when he joins the Hitler Youths.
Marie-Laure and Werner really only cross paths once. There meeting seems insignificant, but I think that is the highlight of the whole book. Two people on different sides, different beliefs, but they end up helping each other. In the world they live in, it must be very difficult to do that.
Then comes the heart-breaking moment. *Spoiler alert* When the Germans are defeated and captured, Werner is on the brink of death. He's sick and slightly delirious, walking into a mine which explodes around him. I wonder if he really was delirious, or if he knew what he was doing. Maybe he was just tired of it all. Either way, it was depressing. *Spoiler over*
This was a really good book, but it had to be taken slowly in order to absorb all the words and meanings. I loved the style, and I found myself searching more words up in the dictionary than usual :P But all in all, a great book!
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