Thursday, March 26, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

image from LibraryThing
This is a story of incredible beauty and unfathomable darkness.  It is WWII France and Germany.  It is children growing up in a world where childhood was not allowed and nightmares are real.  But, so is beauty.

This is the story of Marie-Laure, a French girl whose father is a locksmith at a Paris museum - a locksmith tasked with hiding a priceless treasure as he flees Paris with his blind daughter.

At the same time we follow Werner, the white haired radio whiz who escapes the overpowering poverty of a mining town for the education brainwashing of the Third Reich.

Their paths cross in radio waves in the most unexpected way.

This is a beautifully crafted book.  Descriptions are detailed and inviting and unexpected.  The beauty of birds on the wing juxtaposed with incredible cruelty toward prisoners.

This book took me a bit to jump in to.  The characters are introduced and then the book folds back to an earlier time and slowly moves forward.  But - even more was the image of Marie-Laure alone in a house with the fires of a bomb raid creeping toward her.  I was afraid for could a blind girl be alone in a burning house.

I cared for her from the very beginning - and so did Doerr!

I loved this one!! Our April book club book

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and the situation and the surprise twists and turns.  Moriarty has a way of making the reader expect one thing and then gently twist the story to a different place.

The premise is a school parent event - a trivia night for parents to raise money for equipment.  This takes place Australia - so the event also included alcohol - something that wouldn't happen in the schools where I have worked.

Moriarty starts the story with parents fleeing the trivia event - and then builds the tale by backing up to a morning months earlier when a few future kindergarten moms gathering for a roundup sort of day.  The pecking order appears quickly with a one new mom nervously trying to figure out her place. She is sort of swept up with Madelaine - one of the more flashy moms and it all feels good until...There is an event that very first morning - a little girl is bullied and her mom goes ballistic.  And that sets this group of parents on an unexpected path.

Now my favorite part. Each of the chapters ends with a snippet of a police or reporter interview with a few of the parents. Clearly there is a death. But that is all you really know...who and why and where.

My only complaint is the title for this book and the picture. I felt like the broken candy cheapened the seriousness of the topics in the pages.  Although this was an easy read - brings forward darknesses that are ususally hidden.  This is only my opinion  - and I would strongly recommend this to others.

I loved this March book club read!