I don’t have adequate words to write this review. Everyone needs to read it. Yes, it deals with the horrors of WWII, the young teen boys fashioned into soldiers for Hitler’s army, the young girls raped and the senseless killings, constant fear. But it’s more than that- this novel is written in such a beautiful way. It’s not grotesque. It tells the story of a blind French girl, a German orphan training for the Nazis, radio broadcasts of a Professor’s teachings, a cursed gem, and how they eventually converge. Doerr’s writing is magnificent, flowing, descriptive, breathtaking. I flagged so many moving passages- one of my favorite lines, Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever has so many meanings in this novel. It’s repeated frequently, it was a line from the professor’s broadcasts that Werner and his sister Jutta would hear at night. Marie-Laure is blind yet she sees the world and all its beauty even so. Werner, a brilliant young man, has to keep his eyes set on sights of the war and finding traitors, but his eyes aren’t fully open to the other aspects of his life. This is a long book and not one I would want to breeze through reading. It took me almost a month to read it because it’s a book I wanted to take my time with, mulling over every line, because it was so emotionally captivating.
To really touch something…is to love it. (p. 30)
Is it right,…to do something only because everyone else is doing it? (p. 133)
Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever. (p. 376)
But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same? (p. 469)
That first peach slithers down his throat like rapture. A sunrise in his mouth. (p. 471)