October was over halfway through and the chosen book for book club still hadn't arrived at the library. Ugh! I didn't really want to buy it. Especially not knowing how or if I'd like it. And at this point, even if it arrived soon, I'd never be able to flip through all 500+ pages in time! Between traveling one weekend and running a marathon the next, I was so close to just throwing in the towel on this one. And then I remembered all those Audible Free Trial emails I kept starring for future reference. Problem Solved! I downloaded All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr on October 21 finishing it with a few days to spare for our book club meet up last week!
To be honest, I wasn't sure listening to a book (especially a 16 hour one!) was going to be for me. I decided to give it a shot on a short taper run as I finished up my marathon training. It wasn't too bad. I did run slower than usual at first, but once I got the hang of the app and figured out how it all worked I was able to pick up the pace.
Listening was perfect on the plane and train when I traveled over the course of those two weeks. I really loved sneaking in a few chapters on my commute each morning. And usually couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next as I left my desk for the day. The audiobook also managed to get me through a few rough patches during the actual marathon! In those tough quiet stretches you better believe I found myself absorbed in world of Werner and Marie-Laure. By the end of the book, I was hooked. Not only on the story, but also on the means!
Don't get me wrong though, when the library book finally did arrive - a mere week before our meet-up - I definitely flipped through it and read much of the second half as if I'd never heard the story originally. I definitely don't prefer audiobooks over the real thing, but I'll certainly give it a shot again in a pinch.
Now, for my thoughts on the book itself. Phenomenal! I really loved the story. I enjoyed learning about the characters and feeling as though I was right there with them. So many fabulous details painted the pictures in my head. And I am ALWAYS a fan of short chapters. They advance the story, but leave you wanting more. I love that! And alternating between the present time (in the story) and the past (to show how they got to that present point in time) was also interesting. Although, that feature was somewhat difficult to keep track of with the audiobook. I often found myself going back and confirming which time period when I became a bit confused. In the actual book, it was much easier to track. I understood why the ending occurred as it did, but I wasn't 100% sure if I loved it. I wanted a few more solid answers. Especially after investing so much time and effort to get to that point. Overall though, it was a simply beautiful story about a very wretched time in world history. I found myself thinking about Werner and Marie-Laure so often. About what it would have been like to be a child during those times - particularly a blind or orphaned one. If you haven't managed to get your hands on this book yet, I highly recommend giving it a read...or listen. I enjoyed every moment of both!