All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr REVIEW

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.


I just finished The Nightingale so I was hoping for another one that pulled on my heartstrings. Compared to The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See seemed more of a statement of stories. It lacked the intense emotional connection I was craving after my last book hangover. The story line was intriguing and still had me reading as fast as I could, but the depth was lacking. I didn't feel like I was living in the book with the characters because there was no bond formed. I don’t know if I just couldn’t relate or find myself in these characters to put myself in their shoes, but I was hoping for a little more emotional draw.

The elaborate details and well thought out web this author weaved drew me in on another level though. This story was complex and elaborate, fast and slow, but all together was a fresh read. It was a great change in pace from my typical romance picks. It held some disturbing realizations that made you reflect on this world’s past mistakes. It made you think and showed yet another angle of the past, teaching me a little bit more and helping me understand what people went through on both sides during that war.

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