”Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
★★★★★ (5 stars)
August in 1944, the bombs started to fall and various establishments, including houses, crashed to the ground. A war has started.
Marie-Laure, a sixteen year old girl, blinded at six, sat in front of a model her father crafted for her. She ran her finger tips above the miniature city and whispered the names of the places she recognized. The war has begun and the sound of airplanes has gotten nearer.
Werner Pfennig, an eighteen year old boy, orphan, was residing in a place called L’hôtel des Abeilles, the Hotel of Bees, when 88, an anti-air gun in the fourth floor of the building, fired. Not until then did he realized that the war has started.
- The story is very realistic, something that could have possibly happened in the second world war. I, for one, is a fan of world history. I like reading encyclopedias and watch documentaries and stuff to feed my mind with enough information on that subject. But this story has been different from all those materials. This story was told using the different point of views of people who personally got involved in the war. I’m not confusing this with non fiction books or whatsoever. Its just that, it is so detailed that it gives us a hint of how it feels to be in the second world war and we can’t find that in materials such as encyclopedias and documentaries.
- It was written amazingly. What I love in this book is its comprehensiveness. Not just that it was written creatively but the topic of this book is well researched. Perhaps, that’s the reason why this book is written for ten long years. To tell a story set in world war II without ruining the facts.
- One of the things that I don’t like in this book is its confusing view points. There are many characters in the story and hence, many view points. One is for Marie-Laure and one is for Werner Pfennig, then there’s Jutta, his sister and many more. The different view points confuse readers on who is living in France and who is with the Germans. A problem me and my friends have been struggling.
- Some part of the book is somehow boring. There are times when I am hooked only because the writing style is great. Don’t get me wrong. This book is as interesting as it sounds and I liked it as it is, but maybe, confusion just swallowed me up whole.
- If you are expecting for one great love story then, this is not the novel for you. as you have read at the top of this post, the synopsis somehow sounds as if a great love story might happen. Well, I got into that trap too. I was expecting for a romance that simply isn’t there. The love story between the two main characters happened at the near end of the story and it is shallow enough to say that it is romance going on between them. Infatuation, maybe, is quite acceptable.
Okay, let me be honest with you.
If I haven’t read the last few chapters of this book, I could have rated it a four or maybe a three. Well, the truth is, this is the first novel that made me cry. It is so heart wrenching that I need to put the book aside for a moment since I cannot read any further. (Well, my tears are clouding my sight and my glasses has droplets on)
Anyways, this book has been one interesting read. One of this year’s must read indeed.