After a brief Book Club hiatus, during which I momentarily lost my mind and only consumed bridal magazines, bridal blogs (and copious amounts of alcohol and comfort food), I am back to reading real, actual books that don’t come with pictures of skinny girls in white dresses. On our honeymoon, I devoured Luckiest Girl Alive, which I highly recommend if you loved Gone Girl. And after that, I read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I just finished last week. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. All of the blogs and magazines I follow have been touting it for months, but leading up to the wedding, I just didn’t think I had the brain capacity to read it. And the idea of reading a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about World War II sounded like homework that would make me depressed.
Still, I kept hearing about it and ended up putting it on my iPad the night before we left for our honeymoon. I started it on the plane ride back, and took my time finishing it. It was so beautifully written, I would sometimes go back and read a page a few times just to make sure I didn’t miss any of the words; other times, I would get so caught up in the story, I would tear through it as fast as I could to find out what happened next. Without giving too much away, it’s about a blind French girl whose father works at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, and a brilliant German orphan who “wins” a coveted spot at a terrifying, exclusive school for Hitler Youth, and how their lives ultimately collide. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that’s haunted me like this one; the words are so alive, just reading it catapults you into the world. And, despite the subject matter, it has an incredibly uplifting and hopeful take on humanity. Even when it made me cry. So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and telling you, if you haven’t read this book yet, you must. It is even better than everyone has been saying it is.