Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ten top novels about France

Liz Boulter is a subeditor on the Guardian travel desk.

One of her "personal top 10 novels that give une véritable saveur" of France:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This Pulitzer-prize-winning novel seems tailor-made for these days. The title refers to a teacher’s comment in the book about how our brains, locked in our skulls without a spark of light, build for us a luminous world. And today we, in lockdown, can rebuild in our imaginations 1940s Paris and the “open-air fortress” of Saint-Malo. We do this partly through the mind of young Marie-Laure, blind since she was six, who finds her way using scale models her brilliant father builds for her. Characters in the occupied Brittany town come to life, and readers’ hearts go out to Marie-Laure and young German counterpart Werner as they confront a world of hate and horror with grace and integrity.
Read about the other entries at the Guardian.

All the Light We Cannot See is among Emily Temple's fifty best contemporary novels over 500 pages, Jason Allen's seven top books with family secrets, 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