Paperback, 531 Pages
Historical Fiction/ WW2
By: Anthony Doerr
“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”
I have seen good reviews for this book everywhere! I found a copy at the local book store and bought it but I need to be in a certain mood to read historical fictions so it waited for almost a year until winter came which I find the perfect atmosphere for this kind of books. I knew this book is very successful but I did not realize it has over a million ratings on GR with such a high average! That’s crazy because it means this have sold many millions of copies and people for the most part enjoyed it pretty much.
The story is about Marie-Laure who lives in Paris with her father and Werner who lives in Germany with his sister and how their lives come together. It is a story about war, about a sea of fires, radios, light waves, love, family, resistance but much more also. I admit that I have read quite a few stories of this kind and they do have the same tropes more or less. This was no different as it showed life before and during the war and ended with a scene from modern life. That does not make it any less important because the WW2 is probably the world’s worst event and I am pretty sure we will keep seeing books about this war forever!
“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
The book is slow, actually it is very slow but the author did something smart which I am a big fan of and used short chapters; I am talking about 1-2 pages chapters and there are more than 170 chapters in this book which kind of balanced the pacing. The other things which redeems the pacing is the writing style which is very beautiful and poetic, I can’t deny that it was sometimes too flowery for my taste though!
The characters were well written, I think they are the kind of characters that I care about while reading the book but then they kind of fade after a while. There were times when I preferred Marie’s POV and other times when I preferred Werner’s POV. The “romance” -if it can be called that- was a bit not convincing and unnecessary but it was just a minor part of the story.
“All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?”
Summary: The book is definitely good and I can see why it is successful and why it won a Pulitzer prize. The writing was poetic, the character well written and the pacing slow but the small chapters made up for that. If you like WW2 stories and historical fiction, chances are that you are going to love this one!