Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Publisher: Scribner, May 2014
Summary/Review: It is 1934 and Marie-Laure is just 6 years old when she loses her sight. Her father, the principle locksmith for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, teaches her well how to adjust to her blindness. As she grows, Marie-Laure’s curiosity and intelligence blossom even as the threat of a world war looms. When Hitler and his army begin their attempt to dominate Europe, Monsieur LeBlanc must flee Paris with Marie-Laure ahead of the impending invasion.
It is 1934 and 8 year old Werner Pfennig and his sister Jutta are living in an orphanage in Germany. Their favorite pastime of building and fixing radios, and listening to broadcasts from all over Europe, becomes increasingly difficult as the Nazi party begins to censor what German citizens are allowed to listen to. Before they are completely cut off from the outside world, Werner and Jutta see and hear enough to be frightened of what their country and countrymen are becoming. As Werner gets closer to his 15th birthday and his obligatory job in the local mine, an opportunity arises that will change his life forever.
All the Light We Cannot See is the mesmerizing story of Marie-Laure and Werner and their struggle to survive in a world at war. On opposite sides but so very alike, both are thrust into situations that they cannot control and their palpable fear and frustration can be keenly felt. Doerr’s writing is nothing short of perfect. I was absolutely captivated by this novel and I now consider it one of my top 10 favorite novels of all time.
Who will like this?: Someone looking for a historical novel on World War II. Someone who is not afraid to take an emotional journey through war – be prepared for characters that will stay with you.
If you like this, try this: Book Thief by Marcus Zusak or Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. If you enjoyed Anthony Doerr’s writing style, he has written other books, including “The Shell Collector” and “Memory Wall” (short stories) and “About Grace”, a novel.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!