Book #4: Everything Is Illuminated

How does World War II keep sneaking onto my reading list? In the past year:

  • Sarah’s Key
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • The Book Thief
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

and now to add to the list…

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

I wouldn’t necessarily suggest this as a beach read but I found myself on the beach, champagne in hand (best vacation ever) laughing out loud at Alex’s English mistranslations and tearing up just a bit near the end with the story of Hirschel.

It took me a few chapters to settle into the rhythm of the narrative, as it’s sort of a novel within a novel. (Or two novels within a novel, I suppose.) The chapters cycle between the author telling the story of his family, his translator Alex’s letters to the author, and chapters of the book Alex is writing.

Maybe I would have enjoyed anything in this setting? Nah. I tried reading A Moveable Feast and had to put it down, as Hemingway is really not a beach read.


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