All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr Pages: 530 Published: 2014
The book: A blind twelve-year-old, Marie-Laure LeBlanc, and her father flee Paris, which is under German occupation. They seek refuge with her great uncle in Saint-Malo, an ancient walled French town by the ocean.
In a mining town in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner Pfennig, becomes obsessed with radios and learns how to make and repair them. His radio skills take him first to a Nazi youth camp and from there into the German army, where he tracks resistance radio operators.
This novel is the story of Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives as their paths intersect during the war.
You might like it because: It’s a wonderful story of intertwined lives, the human spirit, and the good and bad that reside within people.
Doerr’s elegant writing creates a vivid and detailed picture of characters and places in a way that seems almost effortless and does not pull the reader away from the story line.
What did other people say?
“Enthrallingly told, beautifully written…Every piece of back story reveals information that charges the emerging narrative with significance, until at last the puzzle-box of the plot slides open to reveal the treasure hidden inside.” – Amanda Vaill – Washington Post
“Stunning and ultimately uplifting… Doerr’s not-to-be-missed tale is a testament to the buoyancy of our dreams, carrying us into the light through the darkest nights.” – Entertainment Weekly
Awards & Recognition:
2015 Pulitzer Prize For Fiction
2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
How quickly will you get into the book? The book grabbed me from the very first page. The story is beautifully set up. It pulled me in and I wanted to know what happened next.
You might not like it because: The story unfolds as the novel jumps back and forth between different time periods. Some readers may find this confusing or irritating.
What might you read next?
You might care to read Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It is featured in All The Light We Cannot See.
Or if you want to learn more about the time period in which the novel is set, you could read D-Day The Battle For Normandy by the marvelous historian Antony Beevor.
Alternatively, read another work of fiction set during a war, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.
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