21 ~ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
*Voted Goodreads best Historical Fiction book of 2014 https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2014
*On the CBC 2015 Summer Reading List http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/05/cbc-books-2015-summer-reading-list.html
Anthony Doerr really captures the tones of WWII and what it must have been like to be growing up during that time in history. His story moves between the life of Werner, a German orphan, and Marie-Laure a young Parisian. This story gives us a juxtaposition of individual realities during the war; each character battling against their own fears as their lives are upturned. Werner is an orphan but gets selected to be one of a few hundred children who will be trained up and educated in a special German school. He is gifted with intelligence and is given a position constructing radios so he can catch radio signals for the German army. He leaves behind his sister Jutta at the orphanage who provides the female counterpoint to growing up German during WWII.
Marie-Laure, blind at an early age, has her own strengths of freewill and a determination to live and thrive with her disability. Her blindness heightens her sense of sound and smell which she uses to survive through major life changes. She and her father must flee Paris and move to Saint-Malo and the home of her wealthy great-uncle. When Marie-Laure’s father is taken prisoner and sent to a German war camp, she must learn to survive on her own and learn to discern between those who are trustworthy and those who are not.
I really enjoyed the way the plot of All The Light We Cannot See centers around radio broadcasts and how it ties the story together nicely. I also appreciated the way the author did not sugar coat the story as the reality during WWII for people on both sides was not a positive experience. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
20 ~ A Trick of the Light (Inspector McLevy #3) by David Ashton
I have so far really enjoyed the Inspector McLevy series. I find them engaging and they have enough conspiracy and mystery to keep me interested. I found this book a little more predictable than the first but otherwise a great read.