Book Reviews

Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Publication Date: May 6th 2014


Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.


My Review:

All the Light We Cannot See, was such a heavy book emotionally. It was a beautifully story full of beautiful characters, descriptive world building, and emotions that can’t be explained, only felt.
Each character was complex and completely essential to the story. This story was a long one and took me a while to get through because it wasn’t my typical read, but I’m so happy I took a chance on it. The cover is gorgeous.

An amazing story is one that forever leaves it’s mark on you long after you read it, like an imprint, never to be forgotten. This book did exactly that.

It has become a part of me now. It’s words etched into my soul. Anthony Doerr did an amazing job of making me feel what the characters felt. I feel like I knew each of the characters on such a deep level that they nearly leaped off the page into real life. The realness of them was/is unbelievable.

I am so incredibly happy I took the time to read this book. It was the perfect first read of the new year. I hope to read more emotionally beautiful books like this one in the future.

While may heart still aches for the people and events in this book, it will be a personal favorite forever I think.
Such an amazing book deserves an infinite number of stars.

I’d love to go into more detail of the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of historical fiction or just want a beautiful, emotional read. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Have you read this story or plan to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

  1. This sounds like an interesting read. I went blind at about 18-months-old due to a blood clot and am intrigued by the description of the girl finding her way around Paris from a diagram made by her father. In mobility lessons I felt similar diagrams so can relate to the character.

    1. I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It was beautiful and so powerful. It has inspired me to read more historical fiction in the future. The audio book reader, Zach Appelman did an amazing job of reading this story and making me feel the words. πŸ™‚

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