Book Review 5: All The Light We Cannot See

Do you ever have a book in your head that you want to read, but don’t know why or even what it’s about? That was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for me. So much so that this was one of the books I brought over with me from home. So lets get into it, shall we?

First off, it is not a happy book and it is not a love story. A stark comparison to my last read. The book mostly follows two main characters between WWII. Every chapter jumps between the two and essentially two different countries. Then the book also jumps between 4ish years (think start of the war and towards the end). The author does a remarkable job jumping between the two and most of the “chapters” are only two pages long. So it’s always a quick, smooth transition and you’re not fully immersed in one story to be ripped out. It shows the war through different sets of eyes so you see the impact beyond the concentration camps.

Predictable ending? Maybe not for most, but for me it definitely was. I think the author was trying not to be predictable, however I had the ending sorted for the last third of the book. I did like, that in a similar fashion to the other recent WWII era books, he didn’t tie everything up with a bow and a happy ending because there are no real happy endings with wars and especially not that one.

I don’t think this is one you have to run out and get immediately, but it is a good book. If you’re interested in reading about impacts of the war then I think you would like this.

Goodreads Synopsis

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. 

Check out my previous book review.

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