Saturday, July 18, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See is the best book I've read so far in 2015.

Poetically written, with beautiful imagery and unforgettable settings.

Here is one of my favourite passages, describing The Hotel of Bees:
... before it was ever a hotel at all, five full centuries ago, it was a home of a wealthy privateer who gave up raiding ships to study bees in the pastures outside Saint-Malo, scribbling in notebooks and eating honey straight from combs. The crests above the door lintels still have bumblebees carved into the oak; the ivy-covered fountain in the courtyard is shaped like a hive. Werner's favorites are five faded frescoes on the ceilings of the grandest upper rooms, where bees as big as children float against blue backdrops, big lazy drones and workers with diaphaonous wings - where, above a hexagonal bathtub, a single nine-foot long queen, with multiple eyes and a golden-furred abdomen, curls across the ceiling. (pg 8)
I think I dreamt of the Hotel of Bees that night. Descriptions of the Jardin des Plantes, St. Malo, Paris streets, Museum of Natural History and grottos are equally captivating.

The book was so wonderfully written that I actually had to put it down every few pages because it activated my imagination so much I wanted to dwell where it was transporting me. I delayed finishing because I was enjoying it so much.

The characters, the plot, the language, the pacing were all masterful. Pulitzer winnerfor Best Fiction in 2015.

I think I'm going to read it again before the summer ends!

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