Friday, April 12, 2013

Review of Everything is Illuminated

A story in a story.
Everything is illuminated is a wonderful little story. Jonathan is searching for the woman who saved his grandfather in the Ukrain during world war II. Aiding him on his trip is a sketchy translator and a supposedly blind driver.
While Jonathan, Alex and his grandfather get acquainted they find a woman who knows everything and nothing and who has been waiting just in case.
Though it's set during the nineties, it's a story about the war and how it affected jews and their families and friends. It having been written comically sets it off against the heartbreaking content. How someone has to choose between life and death of themselves and those around them.

The story in the story is even better. I liked the craziness of it. The fantastic absurdity, the words that never meant what you thought at first. 'Brod' is one of my favourite characters in this book. Mostly because she is so fantastically adroit, a rebel in heart and soul even though she's only searching for love.
Trachimbrod will always evoke a smile in me. I'll miss that town, and I'll miss its people. A town that makes you smile when all the townsfolk paint their hands a different color, a town living together and ultimately dying together.

The end of both stories is so heartbreaking. You want to make everyone who has any hand in a war or conflict to read this, to feel what they felt, to understand what war really means. It means drowned little babies, pulled down by their umbellical cord. It means death.
Books like this should be on reading lists in school. This is what today's youth should be reading, hoping they'll remember and don't make the same mistakes.

My apoligies for being a little emotional, but it's in the book.

Personal rating: 4 stars