Meanwhile, Werner and his sister Jutta live in a German orphanage. He faces a life consigned to the coal mines, but then his gift for building and repairing radios brings him to the attention of officials, who send him to a military training school with a brutal regimen. He eventually ends up in Saint-Malo looking for a radio that has been sending messages from the Resistance. Werner and Marie-Laure's lives briefly but significantly cross, and the two then go on to their own fates.
Marie-Laure and Werner are well-drawn characters, and the book's depictions of their war time experiences are grueling--yet somehow Doerr didn't quite succeed in making me care very much about them. And it isn't just me--two other members of Novel Conversations shared a similar response with me. In addition, there is an entire subplot about a huge blue diamond that; while it seems Doerr intends the diamond and the myths surrounding it to be symbolic of something, this subplot left me completely cold. All the Light We Cannot See recently won the Pulitzer, so obviously those in the know disagree with me, but overall I found the book a disappointment.
When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?
It's embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.