Darkness and light at war

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE<br><b>Anthony Doerr</b><br><i>HarperCollins</i>
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE<br><b>Anthony Doerr</b><br><i>HarperCollins</i>
Set in France during the time leading up to and through World War 2, All The Light We Cannot See is a meticulously researched and crafted story of many lives - but four in particular - told in a way that will not be forgotten.

Marie-Laure lives with her father, who is the main locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, where, as she becomes blind at the age of 6, he teaches her how to find her way through the neighbourhood and become familiar with the world by touch. When Germany takes over Paris, Marie-Laure and her father quickly find their way to St Malo, on the Brittany coast, where her great-uncle lives, a man wishing to live quietly, in as small a space as possible.

At the same time in Germany lives Werner, a young boy growing up with his small sister Jutta. Together they find an old radio, which fascinates Werner. He studies everything he can about radio until his expertise is such that he becomes a welcome addition to the Hitler Youth, an organisation which takes him through Russia, tracking Resistance personnel and finally finding his way to St Malo.

As these four people meet and their lives become intertwined, readers are taken through many ways in which war both opens and shuts doors in life which are interesting and disturbing. A must-read for any lover of history.

- Colleen Hartley is a literature devotee.

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