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Archives > [February] All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr - Part 3 (spoilers)

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message 1: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
Part 2 Questions

Section of book: 51-100%


Notes:
- Each member is asked to end with a question for the next member.
- If the person above you forgets to pose a question then just pick a different one from above (make sure you indicate which one you're answering!)
- If some other question from above moves you then feel free to answer as many as you want. It is a discussion after all!

1. What's your opinion of the book overall?
2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?
3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?
4. Answer the question from the person before you!


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2632 comments 1. What's your opinion of the book overall?
I really enjoyed this book overall, and I thought it lived up to the hype. It was very well written.

2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?
I think it was a bit of a play on Marie-Laure's blindness, since she literally can't see the light. Also, I think it could have to do with the radio broadcasts, which bring hope (light) during the war.

3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?
I liked the idea, and I thought it was great to find out what happened to the characters later on. I don't remember anything surprising me too much.

4. Answer the question from the person before you!
I'm first again, so here's the first question -- Were you hoping for more interaction between Werner and Marie-Laure?


message 3: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 9 comments 1. What's your opinion of the book overall?
I loved it. Rich description, which didn't detract from the story, powerful relationships between characters, I thought it was great.

2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?
Obviously the literal meaning of Marie-Laure's blindness, but also that emotions can have colours and light and the light of happiness and importantly, of hope. I think there are parallels with the fine words of Albus Dumbledore... Happiness can be found in the darkest of places if only one remembers to turn on the light.

3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?
I loved the story so much that I wanted it to keep going, so it was a nice surprise! Not really surprise, but the severity of the guilt that both women harboured was poignant.

4. Answer the question from the person before you!
I'm first again, so here's the first question -- Were you hoping for more interaction between Werner and Marie-Laure?

Possibly before I read it, I was. I actually loved it. There is something so wonderful about how a few hours, and one human act, can change the entire destiny of a persons life. Marie-Laure's fate would perhaps have been completely different without Werner and for him, it was almost an act for forgiveness (I think it certainly was for his sister years when she found out years later.) I loved how subtle and understated and yet powerful it was. My husband disagrees though!

My question would be:

I'm going to keep the same question as above... cop out I know, but I'm really interested in what other people think about this as my husband and I have talked about it at length!!!

Were you hoping for more interaction between Werner and Marie-Laure?


message 4: by Silvia (last edited Feb 15, 2017 12:51AM) (new)

Silvia Turcios | 1071 comments 1. What's your opinion of the book overall? I thought it was great. I enjoyed very much the short chapters and the change of time and character, that gave it a kind of fast paced to the book.

2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?Hope. I think it means that even in the darkest time, you can find something that make you continue.

3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?Nothing surprised me, but it made me feel sad. To think that Werner was not there, that even her sister didn't talk about him. I wished Marie-Laure talked to Jutta about the heroic last act of Werner, but they were there not talking, just feeling awkward :(

4. Were you hoping for more interaction between Werner and Marie-Laure?Definitely, I was hoping like a instant love story ... but I guess that happen just in fairytales and maybe that is why I prefer fantasy books ...

My Question:
If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be?


message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Brown | 379 comments 1. What's your opinion of the book overall?
I thought it was just ok. I don't know if it was because I thought Homegoing was wonderful, or historical fiction isn't my usual genre, or something else, but I thought this dragged at times for me. I cringe as I say this since I know it is beloved by so many.

2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?
I agree with what everyone above me has said. The light Marie-Laure literally cannot see and makes up in her mind or the light missing in the one of the darkest points of history.

3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?
Now this I really liked. You rarely get to see the future of characters played out for you, so it was interesting to see how they ended up. Nothing surprised me. I am just heart broken for Jutta and Volkheimer.

4. Answer the question from the person before you!
If I could change one thing in the story what would it be? It would have to be how Werner died! It just seemed rushed and weird. I know accidents happen and sadly soldiers die in roadside bombs, etc, but just the way it was written. Maybe I don't understand it all.

I was hoping for more interaction between Marie-Laure and Werner too. It was a lot of build up to get to that point. It would have been sweet for Werner to have survived and then to have found her again.

My question:
Have you been inspired by the book to look further into anything mentioned in the book? I am intrigued by Saint-Malo (wouldn't mind visiting there!) and learning more about the Napola boarding school at Schulpforta.


message 6: by Ali (last edited Feb 28, 2017 09:02AM) (new)

Ali (alide_08) | 213 comments 1. What's your opinion of the book overall?
I really did enjoy it. I found the style and the take on the subject unique. However, I couldn't help but compare it to The Book Thief which I read a few months ago. (I know this isn't a great way to judge the book but I couldn't help it. The subject, age of the characters and themes are so similar). For some reason the emotional impact of this book just couldn't compare to The Book Thief. I think it was the heavy use of metaphor and just how packed with detail All the Light We Cannot See is. The Book Thief was more compelling and raw because it was simpler with more compelling characters.

2. What do you think is the meaning of the title?
Literally, it comes from two places: 1. the presence of radio and then cell/computer information in the air around us when such information is transmitted, 2. Marie-Laure's ability to navigate the world despite not being able to see: her inner "light" in her world of darkness.

Figuratively, it has to do with the moral implications and ambiguities of war, of side-taking, of the concept of "the enemy." The light we cannot see, is the perspective of others: their values and the moral choices behind their actions, which to an outsider can look very dark. Take Werner for example: on the outside we see the modern embodiment of darkness and evil. He is a Nazi who does terrible things and is complicit to even worse, but in the darkness of his actions is the light of his potential. He is extremely gifted and wants to better his circumstances. The conditions he is born into and the choices he make to him are morally justifiable, until he ultimately concludes they are not. The title is very beautiful and I think can be interpreted so many different ways.

3. What do you think of the author’s decision to flash forward at the end of the book? Did you like getting a peek into the future of some of these characters? Did anything surprise you?
I feel very "meh" about the choice. I think I ultimately feel that it could have concluded with (view spoiler). The 1970s flashforward and definitely the 2014 flash seemed a bit pandering and very like the Epilogue to the Harry Potter series. The 2014 flash forward especially was totally unnecessary in my opinion.

That being said I did really like to see Jutta, especially after (view spoiler) I was very surprised that Volkheimer made it out alive and that we never found out (view spoiler).

4. Kelly's question: Have you been inspired by the book to look further into anything mentioned in the book?
Oh I immediately googled the boarding school! What really surprised me is that it is a legitimately operated school for gifted students that got briefly co-opted by the Nazis and is still running today.

My question: How do you feel about the Sea of Flames sub-plot? Do you think it was necessary to the story?


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