Saturday, October 4, 2014

There's a light in the window

This well written novel tells the parallel story of two young people at the start of WWII.

Marie-Laure LeBlanc is age six when she goes blind. She lives with her father, David, who is the principal locksmith at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. David adores Marie-Laure and builds her a miniature city so she can follow the miniatures and learn her way about.

When the Germans invade France, Marie-Laure and David travel to her great uncle Etienne's home in the walled city of Saint-Malo. David builds a miniature of this city also for the same purpose and it has a secret compartment where something can be hidden. He also obtains a copy of "Twenty Thousand Leagues Beneath the Sea" in braille that Marie-Laure comes to treasure.

At the Museum of Natural History  there is a rare gem that the museum is attempting to hide from the Germans. This precious gem is said to have the power to make the owner have a long life but cause misfortune to those around the owner.

Werner Pfennig is a twelve year old living in an orphanage in a small German town. He has a rare ability with radios and electrical items. As the war goes on, the older boys at the orphanage join the Hitler youth and seem to become hardened.

Werner is recommended to attend the National Political Institute and excels. Through the story we witness the events in France and Germany and the oppression of the Jewish people. We also follow the story of Marie-Louise and Werner throughout the war.

They are described in a literate, sympathetic manner where the reader becomes attached to them and wishes them happiness in a world of sadness.

This is a heart touching story that will linger in the memories of those who read it.

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