“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever” says the mysterious Frenchman on the radio. In a children’s home in the German mining town of Zollverein, young orphan Werner Pfennig listens, enthralled. Young Werner is fascinated by the light you cannot see – radio waves – and soon becomes an expert in them. This skill lands him a place in the Hitler Youth and eventually on a special mission with the army, tracking the radio waves of the resistance. Meanwhile, young, blind Marie-Laure flees Nazi-occupied Paris with her father, to seek refuge with her great-uncle in Saint-Malo. She participates in the resistance, inspiring her great uncle to do the same. Eventually Werner’s and Marie-Laure’s lives will converge. But they are on opposite sides of the war. How will this play out?
This is an epic novel with a narrative that flits back and forth, interweaving Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s lives. Keeping all the detail in your head is incredibly difficult, but it is cleverly written and gives you plenty to think about.
Publisher: Scribner • ISBN: 1476746583 • Publication date: 6th May 2014