We all have books with a special place in our hearts, for reasons more than the words written in them. Perhaps they changed the way we think about the world, are attached to happy memories or got us through a difficult time in our lives. In this new feature, I will be sharing my own ‘Stories Beyond Books’ and it would be wonderful if you could share yours too!
This week my Story Beyond Books is centred on a novel that made a huge impact on my adult life – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Choosing this beautiful book was the easiest decision I have made so far in the series, as it helped me to make some much more difficult life decisions last year…
Click here to read Stories Beyond Books Part 1: Childhood.
Click here to read Stories Beyond Books Part 2: Adolescence.
Synopsis: All The Light We Cannot See is set in World War Two and follows two enchanting characters. Werner is a prodigal young engineer with a talent for fixing radios that leads to his recruitment by the Nazis. Marie-Laure is a blind Parisian girl who is forced to flee the Nazi occupation with her father. When he disappears, she is left struggling to survive in a lonely house with only her eccentric Uncle for company. A chance encounter of these two souls seems insignificant, yet it will change the pathways of their lives with potentially devastating consequences.
Rewind about a year and a half and I would have not have been spending a chilled Sunday morning tapping out this blog feature! Instead, I was a struggling and intensely stressed Veterinary Medicine student, two years into a five-year course that would see me graduate as a trained veterinarian.
The material did not come naturally, to say the least. I was spending all my spare time in the library to try and keep up, studying all weekend and spending holidays on compulsory work experience. I think the first sign that something was very wrong was when I stopped reading – I didn’t pick up a book once for about 3 months, which is completely unheard of for me! So my parents bought me All The Light We Cannot See and practically begged me to read it over a Christmas holiday in between anatomy swotting.
It was a revelation. Anthony Doerr’s beautiful writing, combined with a compelling emotional storyline, made me realise how much I had missed books. In fact, this was so much better than memorising biochemical pathways or learning stitching techniques (turns out there’s a lot more to being a veterinarian than cuddling puppies all day!)
Shortly after, I realised that perhaps Veterinary Medicine was not the career for me after all and dropped out. Now I have much more time to read and will be starting University again in September, this time to study English Literature, which I am so excited about!
Perhaps I would have come to my realisation eventually without All The Light We Cannot See, but this very special book certainly helped.
Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.
Cover image courtesy of Goodreads.
What is your adulthood Story Beyond Books? Please do let me know in the comments; I am looking forward to reading them!