I truly loved reading this book. It's the second novel published by author Anthony Doeer. It was unlike any other reading experience I can remember. The structure, timeline, and characters were all unique.
The story centres on a blind French girl name Marie Laure, and a German orphan boy named Werner with a flare for electrical engineering who is quickly snapped up by the government and sent to a Nazi military school.
We follow the pair separately as Germany invades France.
Marie Laure offers a wonderful voice to the story. She's young, brave, and curious. Her blindness gives her an interesting perspective on the world, but she is never depicted as weak or someone who needs to be saved.
Werner is a little more confusing - he seems mostly indifferent about Hitler's war, which made me increasingly uncomfortable. At the same time, it's not often you read about WWII from the perspective of a German - but I questioned whether it's really a story worth telling.
The only real criticism I have about this story is that you can tell from the get-go where the plot is heading. The transparency meant I spent most of the novel impatiently waiting for a particular climax that was ultimately very underwhelming. It was extremely frustrating and unsatisfying. (Realising only now how sexual that sounded, but I'm here for it). It was a disappointing end to a beautiful book.
The book has 4.31 stars on Good Reads.
You can buy it online here.