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All the light we cannot see : a novel
2014
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New York Times Review
BEER MONEY: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss, by Frances Stroh. (Harper Perennial, $16.99.) As a fifth-generation heir to the Stroh Brewing Company, once the third-largest brewery in the country, the author glimpsed some of her family's former splendor growing up in Grosse Pointe, Mich. She tells a story of squandered wealth and her family's decline while attempting to link the Strohs' fortunes to those of Detroit. STILL HERE, by Lara Vapnyar. (Hogarth, $16.) Four friends from Russia attempt to forge new paths in New York, but end up transposing old dynamics, romances and jealousies to their adopted city. Vica pushes her husband to pitch an app with an ill-omened name - the Virtual Grave - to their wealthier friends, inspiring questions about immortality that follow the characters throughout the novel. THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse, by Mohamed A. El-Erian. (Random House, $18.) In this edition, updated to reflect such geopolitical shifts as the election of President Trump and Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the author outlines the challenges to the global economy and prescribes solutions to avoid falling back into stagnation - or having sluggish growth become the new standard. THE SPORT OF KINGS, by C. E. Morgan. (Picador, $18.) The descendants of three Kentucky families - one wealthy and white, one AfricanAmerican, and one equine - converge in this story, where questions of lineage, breeding and the past commingle on the Forge family plantation. Henrietta, a fiercely independent Forge heir, defies her father by hiring a black jockey, and soon falls in love with him. Our reviewer, Jaimy Gordon, praised the "fire, virtuosity and spiritual imagination with which Morgan conjures" her subjects. ENTER HELEN: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman, by Brooke Hauser. (Harper, $16.99.) Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan and the author of the best-selling "Sex and the Single Girl," helped stoke a revolution. Hauser's biography examines how Brown used her own insecurities to speak to a range of women, and shows how many of her life's conflicts still resonate today. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr. (Scribner, $17.) The lives of a blind Resistance fighter in France and a brilliant orphan recruited by the Nazis intersect in this imaginative novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015. The narrative confronts the role of morality and obligation during wartime, while performing an exemplary feat of storytelling.
Library Journal Review
Starred Review. Zach Appelman narrates Doerr's tender World War II tale of two young people: Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, and Werner, who was orphaned by a tragic mine accident. Marie-Laure's father is the locksmith for a natural history museum, and when Paris falls, he and his daughter escape to the home of her great uncle Etienne in Saint Malo, carrying what may be a priceless diamond. Her father is imprisoned and soon Etienne and Marie-Laure become resistance fighters, sending clandestine radio transmissions. In Germany, Werner escapes the mines because of his mathematical ability and interest in radios and is sent to a training camp for Hitler youth. Werner is conflicted he is receiving the education he wanted so desperately, but when confronted daily with injustice and brutality, he finally asks to leave. Instead, he is sent to the front. Using technology he helped develop, Werner is charged with finding and eliminating partisans such as Etienne and Marie-Laure. The listener knows that slowly, inextricably, Werner's and Marie-Laure's lives will intersect. But Doerr does not leave listeners in despair. Like light through the clouds, love, hope, and kindness peek through time and again. VERDICT Listeners must attend closely to this story of innocents caught up in the darkness of World War II. But if they do, they are rewarded with an excellent narration of a beautifully written story. ["The novel presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending," read the starred review of the Scribner hc, LJ 2/1/14.] Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., Temperance, MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Broadway actor Appelman delivers a moving performance in the audio edition of Doerr's beautiful WWII novel. The story shifts back and forth in time, and alternates between the perspectives of two protagonists, Marie-Laure-a blind French girl whose locksmith father builds models of the city to help her adapt to her surroundings-and Werner Pfennig, a German orphan who is separated from his sister, Jutta, when he's called to work for the Nazis as an engineer. The stories are both involving in their own right, as we track how the peaceful lives of a father/daughter and brother/sister are slowly disrupted by the rise of the Nazis. Reader Appelman helps convey the emotional tension of each scene with dialogue that is devastatingly moving, and his portrayal of Marie-Laure's uncle, Etienne, is particularly effective. All and all, Appelman turns in a dramatic and well-paced performance of Doerr's richly conveyed and heartbreaking period piece. A Scribner hardcover. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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