Reader Submission: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Review

September 15, 2018Krisha

Editor’s note: It always warms my heart when readers send in their book recommendations and reviews. It lets me know what they’re reading and it allows me to discover new books that may or may not be in my usual alley.

I’ve always had reservations about World War 2 books (Atonement by Ian McEwan will do that to you, bruh), but this review from my sister Kriza may just change my mind. Read on and let me know what you think, nerds!

All The Light That We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Genre: General Fiction

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

Rating: 5 stars



To someone who has always been fascinated by the stories from the Second World War, I have been drawn to literary works that depict how people, in their most trying of times, have been able to take heart, and still celebrate the simple joys of life.

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, is for the souls out there, ready to brave each page and immerse themselves in a story both heart-wrenching and gratifyingly beautiful at the same time.

As told in different perspectives, mostly in the eyes of children, it brings readers back in time to the lives of young German orphan, Werner Pfennig, and imaginative young girl from France, Marie-Laure Leblanc. Both from warring countries, both marred by the pain and loss that war has to offer, whose paths cross together in the island of Saint-Malo.

A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this novel channels to readers the essence of empathy. That despite the horrors of war, friendships can exist even in the most unexpected of peoples and places. That our ability to feel pain and joy brings us to an even footing and makes us all equally human, capable of being good to one another.

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