All the Light We Cannot See ~~ Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious 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 with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. 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, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Full Synopsis
About the Book
  • Published:
    May-2014 (Hardcover)
    May-2015 (Paperback)
  • Formats:
    Print / eBook / Audio
  • Pages:
  • Purchase:
Time Period
  • 1940's-1950's
  • WWII
  • 20th Century


What Readers Are Saying
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I've had this book on my "to read" list for a long while, and when I got it for Christmas I was very excited to finally get to it. The book won a Pulitzer Prize a couple of years ago, and it is truly a well-deserving winner. A lot of people have read it, and I'm sure a lot more have it on their "to read" list as well, so I won't go over the story here. It's a very complex book and difficult to break down in a review. I will say that it centers around two children - a girl who lives in Paris with her devoted father and who happens to be blind, and a young boy who lives in an orphanage in Germany. The time frame is from just before WWII and runs throughout the war and it flips back and forth between these two young people until they meet. It also flips back and forth in time. At first I found this a little difficult to follow, but the wonderful and lyrical language connects it all together. That is the thing of most note to me - the language is so beautiful and the imagery it invokes is absolutely breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time. The effect of war on ordinary citizens and on children is hard to imagine when you've grown up in the relatively peaceful times we have in North America at the present time, but Anthony Doerr portrays these all of it so believably and so thoroughly, that it felt like I was in occupied France during the war. The book will pull every imaginable emotion out of you as you read it. I found that it has profoundly changed my perceptions of war and I see the heartbreaking toll it takes on humanity. But I also see the strength of human drive and resilience, and that time and love combined with inner strength, help to heal and to repair some of damage. This is a book not to be missed. I am glad I had the opportunity to read it.
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