There’s a little coffee shop in Waco called Bru. It’s located in an old elevator, all brass and crimson and Deco, just to the side of a marble lobby in the Praetorian building. The setting is amazing, and the coffee is the best I’ve ever had. But, I keep going back because one of the girls who works there is delightful. We talk about books and writing and coffee, and she always asks me what to read. I was reading this book when I realized that World War II seems to be my 2017 theme. I told her I needed to shift topics, and she told not to apologize for reading what I want. So I won’t.
If you look this book up, it is described as a story about a blind girl and a German boy in World War II France. And that’s true. But it’s also the story of a town called Saint Malo – how it is occupied, destroyed, and rebuilt. It’s also a fairy tale of the old school, full of darkness and evil and danger and goodness and redemption. And yes, it is a story about a girl and boy who live a world turned upside down.
I started reading this book last month, and it was the sort of non-fiction book that made me want to read a pulpy fiction book at the same time. I took a trip to Barnes & Noble to get book number 2 in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series and walked out $100 lighter. Always a hazard in my world. This book was so very dry that I actually started reading three other books since I started it.