Author: Anthony Doerr
One-sentence summary: The seemingly separate stories of a blind French girl and a mechanically gifted young German boy end up intersecting in the chaos and terror of the bombing of Saint Malo during the German occupation of WWII.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 7
Our favorite thing about it: The writing was elegant, yet simple. Beautifully done.
Our least favorite thing about it: The abrupt and tragic ending.
Main Topics of Discussion: War, Death, Following vs. Leading, Propaganda, Power of Words, History
Our favorite quote: “But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?”
Notes: This book had our ratings all over the place. As for the things we loved…the setting and the historical content was, as always, wonderful and interesting. The writing itself was beautiful, insightful, and so well done. It was an easy, but elegant prose. We also loved Werner’s perspective into Hitler’s youth as well as the impact of radios on the German/Nazi propaganda and the controlling of radios and programs. That was all very interesting and led us to our discussion of the power of words. How the two main characters stories eventually found each other was lovely and carefully done as well.
A few of the things that some of us did not care for…the ending was the main complaint. Nothing seemed to work out or give hope – although some of us thought it did. The tragic part(s) of the ending were not well-received by our group. Some thought there were too many characters and that it was difficult to keep up with them all, especially with the two settings and sets of characters (in France and in Germany). Finally, that there were two settings and stories was also a little disorienting to some of us.
Overall this was a beautiful, haunting story of loyalty, survival, and deciding how you want to live your life in the midst of war.
Memorable Meeting Moments: We celebrated Rachel’s birthday
What We Ate: Beef with wine sauce, carrots, and green beans along with bread and Triple Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake for dessert.