Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Hi, everybody!

Saturday is book review day! This week I have a book review for you of All The Light  We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Titel: All The Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Publishing  date: May 6th 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Pages: 530

Rate: 4/5

Synopsis (Goodreads)

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.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

My review

Before I read this book I already heard amazing things about this one. I didn’t want to have high expectations because I didn’t want to be dissapointed but of course I had some expectations. I wasn’t dissapointed but I wasn’t suprised by it’s “greatness” either.

Marie-Laure lived with her father in Paris but when the war began they had to hare away to Saint-Malo. I had never read a book from the POV of a blind person and I found it a special experience. But Anthony Doerr didn’t focus that much on Marie-Laure blindness, which didn’t bother me that much, but whereby there were moments that I forgot she was blind. Marie-Laure was so strong and brave. She wasn’t my favourite character of the book but it’s really hard to not like her.
The father of Marie-Laure loves his daughter so much and he would do anything for her. When Marie-Laure became blind her father was so patient with her and it was truly remarkable.
Once in Saint-Malo there is Great-Unle Etienne and Madame Manec. After the first war, in which Etienne lost his brother (the grandpa of Marie-Laure), he shut himself inside his house. During the stay of Marie-Laure in his house they develop a strong bond and they help each other with their problems.
Madame Manec became a real mother figure for Marie-Laure and I loved how mild she was but also because she still had so much fire inside her even at her age.

The story was also told from Werner’s POV. In his first years he lives with his sister, Jutta, in an orphanage with Frau Elena. Werner is extremely ambitious and with his little radio in the attic he listens every evening with Jutta to a scientist who answers many questions Werner had for a long time. He’s so terrible clever but so naive…
Jutta isn’t naive at all. Even though she is two years younger than her brother in the field of life wisdom she’s ten years older than him. Probably because of that she’s one of my favourite character of this book.

This book certainly is not the best book I’ve read this year but it was still a really good book and I truly enjoyed reading it. The writing style was really beautiful and the book was so real. It didn’t have fantasies or coincidences to make it all more beautiful. War isn’t beautiful. It only destroys the beautiful things.
I expected this book to be a lot about romance and stuff but I was pleasantly suprised that it was not. Don’t get me wrong: I love romance in books but here it just didn’t belong.
A nice aspect about the story was the Sea of Flames. I really didn’t expect any mythical something to be in the book.

The story changed a lot from the “present” to the past and that was the thing that kept this book going. You wanted to keep reading because you wanted to know what happened between those periods. The reason why this book was thrilling was because of the period changes. ‘Cause, let’s be honest, if it was written from 1934 (where the story starts) till 1945 nonstop it would be boring since there just isn’t that much action (which is a disadvantage for me).

Overall, this book didn’t blow me away but it did made me think and I really enjoyed reading it.

Did you read this book? What did you think of it? Comment below or send a link to your review. I’d love to read it. 🙂 But for now, until tomorrow!


Katniss Potter Booklover xxx


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