Click here to Download All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book by Anthony Doerr English having PDF Size 1.6 MB and No of Pages 356.
In a corner of the city, inside a tall, narrow house at Number 4 rue Vauborel, on the sixth and highest floor, a sightless sixteen-year-old named Marie-Laure LeBlanc kneels over a low table covered entirely with a model. The model is a miniature of the city she kneels within, and contains scale replicas of the hundreds of houses and shops and hotels within its walls.
All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book by Anthony Doerr
|Name of Book||All the Light We Cannot See|
|PDF Size||1.6 MB|
|No of Pages||356|
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There’s the cathedral with its perforated spire, and the bulky old Château de Saint-Malo, and row after row of seaside mansions studded with chimneys. A slender wooden jetty arcs out from a beach called the Plage du Môle; a delicate, reticulated atrium vaults over the seafood market; minute benches, the smallest no larger than apple seeds, dot the tiny public squares.
Marie-Laure runs her fingertips along the centimeter-wide parapet crowning the ramparts, drawing an uneven star shape around the entire model. She finds the opening atop the walls where four ceremonial cannons point to sea. “Bastion de la Hollande,” she whispers, and her fingers walk down a little staircase. “Rue des Cordiers.
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Rue Jacques Cartier.” In a corner of the room stand two galvanized buckets filled to the rim with water. Fill them up, her great-uncle has taught her, whenever you can. The bathtub on the third floor too. Who knows when the water will go out again. Her fingers travel back to the cathedral spire. South to the Gate of Dinan.
All evening she has been marching her fingers around the model, waiting for her great-uncle Etienne, who owns this house, who went out the previous night while she slept, and who has not returned. And now it is night again, another revolution of the clock, and the whole block is quiet, and she cannot sleep. She can hear the bombers when they are three miles away.
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A mounting static. The hum inside a seashell. When she opens the bedroom window, the noise of the airplanes becomes louder. Otherwise, the night is dreadfully silent: no engines, no voices, no clatter. No sirens. No footfalls on the cobbles. Not even gulls. Just a high tide, one block away and six stories below, lapping at the base of the city walls.
And something else. Something rattling softly, very close. She eases open the left-hand shutter and runs her fingers up the slats of the right. A sheet of paper has lodged there. She holds it to her nose. It smells of fresh ink. Gasoline, maybe. The paper is crisp; it has not been outside long.
Marie-Laure hesitates at the window in her stocking feet, her bedroom behind her, seashells arranged along the top of the armoire, pebbles along the baseboards. Her cane stands in the corner; her big Braille novel waits facedown on the bed. The drone of the airplanes grows. Parisians continue to press through the gates. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book
By 1 A.M., the gendarmes have lost control, and no trains have arrived or departed in over four hours. Marie-Laure sleeps on her father’s shoulder. The locksmith hears no whistles, no rattling couplings: no trains. At dawn he decides it will be better to go on foot. They walk all morning. Paris thins steadily into low houses and stand-alone shops broken by long strands of trees.
Noon finds them picking their way through deadlocked traffic on a new motorway near Vaucresson, a full ten miles west of their apartment, as far from home as MarieLaure has ever been. At the crest of a low hill, her father looks over his shoulder: vehicles are backed up as far as he can see, carryalls and vans, a sleek new cloth-top wraparound V-12 wedged between two mule carts.
Some cars with wooden axles, some run out of gasoline, some with households of furniture strapped to the roof, a few with entire bristling farmyards crammed onto trailers, chickens and pigs in cages, cows clomping alongside, dogs panting against windshields. The entire procession slogs past at little more than walking speed. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book
Both lanes are clogged— everyone staggers west, away. A woman bicycles wearing dozens of costume necklaces. A man tows a leather armchair on a handcart, a black kitten cleaning itself on the center cushion. Women push baby carriages crammed with china, birdcages, crystalware.
A man in a tuxedo walks along calling, “For the love of God, let me through,” though no one steps aside, and he moves no more quickly than anyone else. Marie-Laure stays at her father’s hip with her cane in her fist. With each step, another disembodied question spins around her: How far to Saint-Germain? Is there food, Auntie?
Who has fuel? She hears husbands yelling at wives; she hears that a child has been run over by a truck on the road ahead. In the afternoon a trio of airplanes race past, loud and fast and low, and people crouch where they walk and some scream and others clamber into the ditch and put their faces in the weeds. By dusk they are west of Versailles. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book
Marie-Laure’s heels are bleeding and her stockings are torn and every hundred steps she stumbles. When she declares that she can walk no farther, her father carries her off the road, traveling uphill through mustard flowers until they reach a field a few hundred yards from a small farmhouse. The field has been mowed only halfway, the cut hay left unraked and unbaled.
As though the farmer has fled in the middle of his work. From his rucksack the locksmith produces a loaf of bread and some links of white sausage and they eat these quietly and then he lifts her feet into his lap. In the gloaming to the east, he can make out a gray line of traffic herded between the edges of the road.
The thin and stupefied bleating of automobile horns. Someone calls as if to a missing child and the wind carries the sound away. Two days after fleeing Paris, Marie-Laure and her father enter the town of Evreux. Restaurants are either boarded up or thronged. Two women in evening gowns hunch hip to hip on the cathedral steps. A man lies facedown between market stalls, unconscious or worse. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Download
No mail service. Telegraph lines down. The most recent newspaper is thirty-six hours old. At the prefecture, a queue for gasoline coupons snakes out the door and around the block. The first two hotels are full. The third will not unlock the door. Every so often the locksmith catches himself glancing over his shoulder.
“Papa,” Marie-Laure is mumbling. Bewildered. “My feet.” He lights a cigarette: three left. “Not much farther now, Marie.” On the western edge of Evreux, the road empties and the countryside levels out. He checks and rechecks the address the director has given him. Monsieur François Giannot. 9 rue St. Nicolas.
But Monsieur Giannot’s house, when they reach it, is on fire. In the windless dusk, sullen heaps of smoke pump upward through the trees. A car has crashed into a corner of the gatehouse and torn the gate off its hinges. The house—or what remains of it—is grand: twenty French windows in the facade, big freshly painted shutters, manicured hedges out front. Un château. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Download
“I smell smoke, Papa.” He leads Marie-Laure up the gravel. His rucksack—or perhaps it is the stone deep inside— seems to grow heavier with each step. No puddles gleam in the gravel, no fire brigade swarms out front. Twin urns are toppled on the front steps. A burst chandelier sprawls across the entry stairs. “What is burning, Papa?”
A boy comes toward them out of the smoky twilight, no older than Marie-Laure, streaked with ash, pushing a wheeled dining cart through the gravel. Silver tongs and spoons hanging from the cart chime and clank, and the wheels clatter and wallow. A little polished cherub grins at each corner. The locksmith says, “Is this the house of François Giannot?”
The boy acknowledges neither question nor questioner as he passes. “Do you know what happened to—?” The clanging of the cart recedes. Marie-Laure yanks the hem of his coat. “Papa, please.” In her coat against the black trees, her face looks paler and more frightened than he has ever seen it. Has he ever asked so much of her? All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Download
“A house has burned, Marie. People are stealing things.” “What house?” “The house we have come so far to reach.” Over her head, he can see the smoldering remains of door frames glow and fade with the passage of the breeze. A hole in the roof frames the darkening sky. Two more boys emerge from the soot carrying a portrait in a gilded frame.
Twice as tall as they are, the visage of some long-dead great-grandfather glowering at the night. The locksmith holds up his palms to delay them. “Was it airplanes?” One says, “There’s plenty more inside.” The canvas of the painting ripples. “Do you know the whereabouts of Monsieur Giannot?”
Ashes, ashes: snow in August. The shelling resumed sporadically after breakfast, and now, around six P.M., has ceased. A machine gun fires somewhere, a sound like a chain of beads passing through fingers. Sergeant Major von Rumpel carries a canteen, a half dozen ampules of morphine, and his field pistol. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Free
Over the seawall. Over the causeway toward the huge smoldering bulwark of SaintMalo. Out in the harbor, the jetty has been shattered in multiple places. A half-submerged fishing boat drifts stern up. Inside the old city, mountains of stone blocks, sacks, shutters, branches, iron grillework, and chimney pots fill the rue de Dinan.
Smashed flower boxes and charred window frames and shattered glass. Some buildings still smoke, and though von Rumpel keeps a damp handkerchief pressed over his mouth and nose, he has to stop several times to gather his breath. Here a dead horse, starting to bloat. Here a chair upholstered in striped green velvet. Here the torn shreds of a canopy proclaim a brasserie.
Curtains swing idly from broken windows in the strange, flickering light; they unnerve him. Swallows fly to and fro, looking for lost nests, and someone very far away might be screaming, or it might be the wind. The blasts have stripped many shop signs off their brackets, and the gibbets hang forsaken. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Free
A schnauzer trots after him, whining. No one shouts down from a window to warn him away from mines. Indeed, in four blocks he sees only one soul, a woman outside what was, the day before, the movie-house. Dustpan in one hand, broom nowhere to be seen. She looks up at him, dazed. Through an open door behind her, rows of seats have crumpled beneath great slabs of ceiling.
Beyond them, the screen stands unblemished, not even stained by smoke. “Show’s not till eight,” she says in her Breton French, and he nods as he limps past. On the rue Vauborel, vast quantities of slate tiles have slid off roofs and detonated in the streets. Scraps of burned paper float overhead. No gulls.
Even if the house has caught fire, he thinks, the diamond will be there. He will pluck it from the ashes like a warm egg. But the tall, slender house remains nearly unscathed. Eleven windows on the facade, most of the glass out. Blue window frames, old granite of grays and tans. Four of its six flower boxes hang on. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Free
The mandated list of occupants clings to its front door. M. Etienne LeBlanc, age 63. Mlle Marie-Laure LeBlanc, age 16. All the dangers he is willing to endure. For the Reich. For himself. No one stops him. No shells come whistling in. Sometimes the eye of a hurricane is the safest place to be.
Marie-Laure wakes and thinks she hears the shuffle of Papa’s shoes, the clink of his key ring. Fourth floor fifth floor sixth. His fingers brush the doorknob. His body radiates a faint but palpable heat in the chair beside her. His little tools rasp across wood. He smells of glue and sandpaper and Gauloises bleues.
But it is only the house groaning. The sea throwing foam against rocks. Deceits of the mind. On the twentieth morning without any word from her father, Marie-Laure does not get out of bed. She no longer cares that her great-uncle put on an ancient necktie and stood by the front door on two separate occasions and whispered weird rhymes to himself—à la pomme de terre. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Free
Je suis par terre; au haricot, je suis dans l’eau—trying and failing to summon the courage to go out. She no longer begs Madame Manec to take her to the train station, to write another letter, to spend another futile afternoon at the prefecture trying to petition occupation authorities to locate her father.
She becomes unreachable, sullen. She does not bathe, does not warm herself by the kitchen fire, ceases to ask if she can go outdoors. She hardly eats. “The museum says they’re searching, child,” whispers Madame Manec, but when she tries to press her lips to Marie-Laure’s forehead, the girl jerks backward as if burned.
The museum replies to Etienne’s appeals; they report that Marie-Laure’s father never arrived. “Never arrived?” says Etienne aloud. This becomes the question that drags its teeth through Marie-Laure’s mind. Why didn’t he make it to Paris? If he couldn’t, why didn’t he return to Saint-Malo? I will never leave you, not in a million years. All the Light We Cannot See PDF Book Free
She wants only to go home, to stand in their four-room flat and hear the chestnut tree rustle outside her window; hear the cheese seller raise his awning; feel her father’s fingers close around hers. If only she had begged him to stay. Now everything in the house scares her: the creaking stairs, shuttered windows, empty rooms.
The clutter and silence. Etienne tries performing silly experiments to cheer her: a vinegar volcano, a tornado in a bottle. “Can you hear it, Marie? Spinning in there?” She does not feign interest. Madame Manec brings her omelets, cassoulet, brochettes of fish, fabricating miracles out of ration tickets and the dregs of her cupboards, but Marie-Laure refuses to eat.