This novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015; in my opinion, a very well-deserved award. This was a very poignant story which focuses on two young people coming of age prior to and during World War II. The first is Marie-Laure, a French girl who lost her sight at age six. Her father worked as a locksmith in the Paris Museum of Natural History and was able to create very detailed models of their home and the surrounding streets of Paris to help Marie learn to navigate the city. The second is Werner, an orphan who lives with his sister Jutta in a Children's home in a mining city in Germany. Werner and his sister are enchanted by a radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they can hardly imagine. Werner becomes expert in repairing and building radios which is later an asset to the Germans in tracking down members of the resistance during the war.
The novel is told in short chapters which alternate between Marie's and Werner's stories. The novel begins with the Allied bombing of Saint-Malo, a walled city on France's coast where Marie and Werner finally come together. The story then delves into the past of each character with Marie and her father having to flee Paris when the Germans invade and end up in Saint-Malo at Marie's uncle's residence. Meanwhile, Werner has been selected to attend a very harsh military school where his skills at radios and electronics are honed and put to use by the Germans.
The story is very haunting and heart breaking with both Marie and Werner losing many people they loved along the way. I was really captivated by this one and was sorry to see it end. A very high overall recommendation.
This is one of my favorite books of all time because of the incredible story, amazing characters and seeing what length others will go through for someone they love.
Amazing characters and character development ... I really fell in love with all the characters and felt like they were as human and as real as the book in my hands.
My ONLY negative critique is that the 'jumping back and forth in the story line' tactic was a little overdone. I found myself confused as to whether I had read something and forgotten it or if it was just now being introduced to the story a TON .. and normally I'm perfectly fine with the jumping back and forth, actually enjoy it because it builds the sense of 'what is going on???' and 'how did we get to here????'
Overall amazing read though, you won't regret it