Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See has been the talk of town for the past two years, and it pleases me to say I understand why. I enjoyed this novel so much I am going to create a list of why it rocks…and we all know how much I love making lists.
- Doerr (nearly) perfectly executes…you guessed it…time/narrative jumps
- Doerr provides a unique perspective of WW II by relating the story through the experiences of main characters who are very young and come from very different backgrounds
- Doerr manages to create a vivid view of every setting and character in the novel without over adjectifying (yes, I made that word up. It’s fine. Shakespeare made words up too.) or suffocating the reader with superfluous imagery
- All the Light We Cannot See is just a freakin beautiful story
So. To sum it up. Read this book.
Rating: 5 Blue Diamonds
Though I was a little late to join the The Girl on the Train party, I’m certainly glad I finally decided to tag along. Paula Hawkins creates a realistic psychological whirlwind, and puts her own spin on the genre by using not one, but 3 unreliable narrators. Hawkins’ use of narrator and time jumps is nearly flawless (a technique we know I am quick to criticize), and effectively adds to the suspense of the novel.
Rachel, the primary narrator, is a beautifully executed character. One could easily argue Rachel falls into the anti-hero category (an on-going trend in modern entertainment. What up, Don Draper.), and Hawkins does an exquisite job of adding the necessary layers to her character to get the audience on board (no pun intended) with her journey, flaws and all. Consequently the reader can’t help but root for this alcoholic, paranoid mess.
There is nothing one dimensional or improbable about the plot or people in The Girl on the Train, a rarity in the psychological thriller/suspense world; as fun as Gone Girl is, admittedly there is many a plot hole involved in the weaving of that ridiculous story. Hawkins’ ability to write multi-layered, well thought out, truthful characters and relationships is what sets The Girl on the Train apart from other books in the genre.
Rating: 4 Bottles of Wine