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

12:50 PM

All The Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Publisher: Scribner
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 531

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

It has become a rare occurrence for me to not want a book to end.  Normally I am in a constant race with myself to read as many books as possible.  All the Light We Cannot See reminded me why I love reading so much, and opened my mind to the fact that reading is not a competition.  It was so beautifully written that I believe that All the Light We Cannot See will stay with me for a long, long time.

It is evident that a lot of research went in to writing this novel.  Doerr not only taught me more about what it was like to live during the Holocaust, but he also helped me to understand the experience of being blind more than I ever have before.  It takes a special author to make you able to experience touch and sound while reading a novel.

All the Light We Cannot See follows the lives of two characters, which each chapters alternating between each characters stories.  Normally in stories written in this way I find myself enjoying one story line more than the other.  I was surprised to find that I equally relished reading about both Marie-Laure and Werner.

I would recommend this novel to absolutely everyone.


“Don’t you want to be alive before you die?” 

“We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.” 

“All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?” 

Loved it!!

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