All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Oct 1, 2021

This novel is about two characters and their stories while living through the Second World War. Marie-Laure is a young, blind girl who lives with her father in Paris but is forced to move to Saint-Malo after German occupation. Werner is a young orphan from Zollverein with incredible talent who is enlisted in the army after attending a Nazi training school. Ultimately, their paths collide and they try surviving the devastation of the war.

Marie-Laure Leblanc, a blind curious French girl, lives in Paris with her father. Werner Pfennig is an orphan with an evitable fate, he is also an intelligent and ambitious individual. Marie-Laure wants to explore and learn more about the world as much as she can. Werner also wants to explore the world and make new discoveries. The war and displacement of both characters is preventing them from obtaining what they want. For Marie-Laure her visual impairment also serves as an obstacle however she is able to accommodate herself to these circumstances. Also, Werner is constantly thinking about his sister, their future, and her opinions on his actions which also influences his actions. Marie-Laure and Werner learn their way around the war and how they can continue to explore and learn albeit the profound circumstances they live under. They continue to listen to global radio stations, read, and break rules. Marie-Laure is able to explore more of the world when she moves to Saint-Malo and Werner becomes smarter through his training at his Nazi training school and through the journeys he goes on. This novel is undoubtedly one of the best that I have read. Although its page count may appear overwhelming, Doerr’s style of writing makes it seem significantly less than it really is. I was emotionally invested in the book and the author’s word structure as well as clever usage of literary devices truly made reading this book a surreal experience. I was also able to learn more about WWII and apply my previous knowledge to better understand the story. I could not put the book down because it was so good. The characters and their stories are also well thought out and connected throughout the book. Everyone should read this book if they are looking for a great read.

The cover of the book includes a beautiful shot of Saint-Malo which is the main setting of the book. The title of the book is significant because throughout the story we are introduced to the different types of senses and are constantly reminded of the fact that Marie-Laure cannot see. Also, radios play an important role in the book and we cannot see radio waves just like how we cannot see electromagnetic waves.

This book deserves a 5—hard to imagine a better book

Written by
Ayan A.

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