This book follows a blind French girl, Marie-Laure and a young German orphan, Werner, during the time before WWII, the period during the war, and concludes after the war. Doerr shows us how these two people have such different paths, yet their paths will connect.
Doerr writes characters well. I cared about his characters. I loved how he developed them and how the story went back and forth from each character and in time.
This story is complex. Doerr shows the mind set of the young Germans who were recruited to fight for Hitler's vision and how he made these young men and women feel that they were someone.
I loved Werner's zest for learning and could understand why he didn't stand up for his friend when he was being bullied.
I love the characters of Marie-Laure, her father, her great-uncle, and his housekeeper. The vivid descriptions made me feel like I was in the story watching it happen.
I loved this story up until almost the end, but I wanted a better ending. I thought the rape scene at the end of the book back at the orphanage was unneeded. Yes, those things happened, but that wasn't the focus of this story, and it seemed out of place. I also wanted more for Werner and wanted to see him deal with what he had done toward the war effort.
I am glad I read this book, and I found it worthwhile, informative, and well written, but I may need to invent the ending I wanted for it.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.