Home » LIFE’S FLAVORS 1/5- ALLISON LIBBY-THESING OF THE OAKS BED & BREAKFAST

LIFE’S FLAVORS 1/5- ALLISON LIBBY-THESING OF THE OAKS BED & BREAKFAST

by Taylor Nye

The Oaks Bed & Breakfast

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr

Scribner

530 pages, $13.08 Amazon

5 Stars

All the Light We Cannot See is the story of two lives as they transition through World War II. Doerr brings to life the two main characters when they are still children just before the start of War. While also sprinkling in chapters of the ultimate point where they are finally able to meet. Marie-Laure lives with her farther who works at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Her journey is challenging as she goes blind at the age of six and must learn how to traverse the world without her sight. Her father proceeds to build her a model of the area in which they live so that she will be able to follow along one day without him. He is the master of keys at the museum and consistently finds ways to teach Marie-Laure about the world around her in a way that satisfies her curiosity, while also challenging her spirit and knowledge.

Werner is an orphan who grows up in a mining town with his sister in an orphanage from a young age. He becomes fascinated in a radio they find in the trash when he is young and soon teaches himself to understand and repair radios. Many people from his city learn of his skills and he finds himself in the home of a German officer to repair a radio there and his knowledge is his way of leaving behind his life at the orphanage. His ability to understand the mechanics of these to some, complex instruments, earns him a spot in a German academy for Hitler youth. While loath to leave his sister behind, he goes because he feels he must if for nothing else to learn more about radios.

As the war looms closer the museum begins to remove some of the artifacts to safe locations. Marie-Laure’s father is charged with taking a precious stone from the museum for safe keeping as they flee to the coast, and the home of her eccentric great uncle. The gem he carries, could be a replica, since the museum made three fakes to send out with the real one and no one knows who carries the real stone.

Werner leaves the orphanage and his sister behind when he goes to the academy and truly begins to question what the instructors are teaching them and how they are treating the children who come to the academy. Some of the children are bought positions while others are earned positions. Here Werner works closely with a man who is trying to track down the resistance via radio frequencies, through new technology that Werner has a hand in developing. This is the assignment that ultimately brings Werner and Marie-Laure to the same city in France.

Doerr paints beautiful pictures using words in this story about two young lives during the height of World War II. The way he developed the characters and put the story together, is artfully done. The switching between the two characters and their perspectives along with the time they are in the same city is beautifully crafted. The breadth of knowledge that he holds for the subjects that he discusses is wide and varied but you never feel that it is lacking in understanding or comprehension.

A story about fate, love and history that draws the reader in, wanting to know more and see the conclusion of the story end in a way that leaves the reader with a new understanding and respect of life. Expertly written, I can hardly put into words how this story resonated with in my being. I highly recommend this book if you have not had a chance to read it before now. It sat on the shelf for over a year before I picked it up and I’m so glad that I finally did. Do not let another day pass you by before starting this novel, very much worth the time.

Contributed by Allison Libby-Thesing

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpQP8pNzNT5ml9CqehzJEqA

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