Today’s review is on All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
All the Light We Cannot See follows Marie-Laure, a young blind woman, who lives with her father in Paris just before the German invasion. Once the Germans invade her and her father are forced to flee to the town of Saint-Malo, however her father also has a prized possession from the Natural History museum in Paris that could eventually cause trouble for them. The novel also follows a young German boy, Werner, who gets caught up in the idealism that the Nazi party seems to offer him, however he also starts to see the cracks in this seemingly perfect system, but also realizes that there is very little he can do if he wants to stay alive. The novel follows these two characters throughout the duration of World War II and how their paths eventually collide.
I enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See, although I went through a slight slump with my reading kind of in the middle of it, but I switched to the audiobook and enjoyed it all the same. Anthony Doerr has a lyrical way of writing that it is beautiful, but yet still captures the somberness of the era that he writes about.
The characters were really fascinating to get to know, especially Marie-Laure and Werner. It was interesting to get the perspective that we do from Marie-Laure who is at a disadvantage of being physically blind, but yet there is Werner who is, as a young boy, blinded by the idealism of the Nazi party. While Marie-Laure comes to terms with her blindness and learns to adapt to her surroundings and day-to-day life, Werner comes to a realization the inhumanity of what the Nazi party stands for, but also realizes that in order to stay alive he needs to go with the flow.
Some of the other side characters that are mentioned in this book were interesting, some of the most notable ones were Frederick, Marie-Laure’s father, her uncle, Madame Manec and Werner’s sister, Jutta. It was good to read from their perspectives and everything they went through during the war, and even some of their experiences afterwards.
The plot moves steadily, although there are some slight lags that will probably make some readers frustrated. But overall, it was a really good book and I highly recommend it for anyone that enjoys historical fiction set in World War II. 3.75/5 Stars
Janelle L. C.