Book Review – All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Book 42 was a shared Little Free Library find from a friend and also the pick for December book club. It was intimidatingly large, but I cruised through in a week – partly because I had extra reading time and partly because I needed to know what happened.

Book 42:
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Historical Fiction

May 2014

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, All the Light We Cannot See is about a German orphan and a blind French girl and their crossing paths through WWII. Marie-Laure flees Nazi occupied Paris with her father and a dangerous jewel per her father’s role at the Museum of Natural History. Werner, having proven his worth to the reich, gets snatched up early and sent to battle for his ability to track down the resistance by using math and building/fixing tracking instruments. As their stories collide, the reader  learns of the demands of war, the desire to do good and the devastation greed and power can cause.

Favorite Quote(s):

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.” 

-Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Goodreads Choice Awards Best Historical Fiction
Audie Award for Fiction


My Overall Rating:
4 – I had some definite issues with the flow of this book. The alternating time periods were one thing, but the alternating viewpoints that required the reader to figure out whose viewpoint they were reading rather than stating it in the title of each chapter drove me nuts. However, this story is gold. I loved that it was a European WWII story that did not focus on concentration camps. I loved the main characters – their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, their roles in the war. I loved the fictional/mythical aspect of the story in regards to the dangerous jewel involved.

This might have been a 5 if I wasn’t constantly trying to figure out who was speaking and how old they were at the time.


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