Book Reviews by a Pioneer: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Circumstances can bring out the worst or the best in us. We may endlessly argue about the bad in a person, but there is also good, which may manifest in adversities.

This Pulitzer award winner novel is about the best that a human being can be. Marie Laure’s father builds a model of their Paris neighbourhood for her to navigate the real streets when she goes blind at the age of six. German occupation of France forces them to flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast to live with a grand-uncle, with a national treasure in his custody. He builds another model of the new neighbourhood for his daughter.

In a parallel track, Werner, an orphan in Germany, is enchanted by a radio. He goes on to master the skills to repair radios, and joins the Germany of Hitler, as a tracker of radio signals by the resistance. Travelling through different countries with the German army, he lands in Saint-Malo.

Here, the paths of the two orphans merge. Here, they display the strength of character, that raises them beyond the ordinary.

This is a heart touching story that makes you believe in the good in you in the difficult times that we are living in.

The review is by Sanjay Chandra, author of The Gymnast and The Life and Times of a Common Man.

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