Friday, January 17, 2020

Seven top books with family secrets

At The Strand Magazine Jason Allen tagged his seven top novels "featuring complex characters and narratives that are masterfully crafted around lies and family secrecy for a powerful effect," including:
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr – While most people know this novel as a WWII epic, I see the storyline between six-year-old Marie-Laure, one of the two young protagonists, and her father, as a profound statement of love that evolves for the reader as the father lies and keeps secrets from his daughter. He not only trains her to see once she is completely blind—similar to how Roberto Benigni’s character does for the child in the film Life is Beautiful—he distracts Marie-Laure from the impending German invasion with sublime and intricately fabricated details of the world he wishes his daughter could continue to inhabit. Life for Marie-Laure, he knows, is hard enough without her having to sit in constant panic prior to their inevitable flight from their home. This novel is panoptic and multifaceted (it even includes fake precious gems, decoys away from the one true treasure), and is fraught with secrecy and lies that are spawned from a wide spectrum of motivations, not the least of which is love.
Read about the other entries on the list.

All the Light We Cannot See is among Whitney Scharer's top ten books about Paris, David Baldacci's six favorite books with an element of mystery, Jason Flemyng's six best books, Sandra Howard's six best books, Caitlin Kleinschmidt's twelve moving novels of the Second World War and Maureen Corrigan's 12 favorite books of 2014.

--Marshal Zeringue