The stories Madame Manec’s visitors bring into the kitchen are terrifying and difficult to believe. Parisian cousins nobody has heard from in decades now write letters begging for capons, hams, hens. The dentist is selling wine through the mail. The perfumer is slaughtering lambs and carrying them in suitcases on the train to Paris, where he sells the meat for an enormous profit.
In Saint-Malo, people are fined for locking their doors, for keeping doves, for hoarding meat. Truffles disappear. Sparkling wine disappears. No eye contact. No chatter in doorways. No sunbathing, no singing, no lovers strolling….
from All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014)