• tomefries

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Summary: Nazi soldiers are advancing across Europe, including into Saint-Malo on the tip of France. As the world is being bombed into oblivion, the lives of Werner Pfennig and Marie-Laure LeBlanc cross.

Review: I had heard great things about All the Light We Cannot See and it was, indeed, a good book. Everything about it was well done: the writing, the characters, the plot, the historical components. The only problem was that I wasn't that into it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, there just wasn't that click. (It's almost like going on a date and being like, 'Listen, you're sweet and I had a great time, but I'm not feeling it.')

Thankfully, the chapters were short which got me through quickly because I kept finding myself saying, "just one more chapter." (No, really, just one more. Okay, okay one more. Fine, two more until the next section.) I wanted to know what happened to Marie-Laure and her family, but the answers didn't tend to come quickly enough. Same with Werner.

The characters were beautifully rendered, and not just Marie-Laure and Werner, but their family members, classmates, teachers, neighbors, and fellow soldiers. Although, Marie-Laure especially stuck out to me as Doerr wonderfully portrayed the special details about her world without vision. A few times throughout he talks about how Marie-Laure sees things as bright colors, which I wish would have been done more.

The narration does skip around and was done well, except that I struggled with suddenly realizing who characters were as they were suddenly introduced a hundred pages later. (Oh, THAT'S who that was. I pictured someone totally different.)

Overall, it won't end up in my top 10 favorites, but it was a very good book.


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