This book has since won the Pulitzer, so most likely no one needs me to tell them this is terrific. However, I’m going to do so: Last summer, I was looking for something to download on my Kindle for a trip to visit my sister in London. This kept popping up but the topic, a blind girl in Paris and a radio-tinkering member of the Hitler youth, didn’t sound like something I was particularly interested in. However, as it popped up and popped up, I kept reading on Amazon reviews that basically everyone felt the same: They didn’t think they’d be interested, but ended up loving it. Long story short, same thing happened to me. The chapters are short and snappy and keep you engaged in the two stories, with the “Sea of Flames,” a cursed gemstone, slowly bringing them closer and closer. The book is remarkably well researched and explores a variety of interests: the father who fashions models so his blind daughter can comfortably navigate, the orphan boy who teaches himself everything about radios, the unimaginable evil of Hitler’s regime and the beauty of language used to describe Marie-Laure’s world, which is a world of smells and tastes and touches, but not one of sight.
This has won so many prestigious prizes but unlike some books (The really-should-have-been-edited Goldfinch comes to mind), All the Light We Cannot See deserves the accolades. If you are one of the five people who hasn’t read it yet, put it on you list immediately.