All the Light We Cannot See

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).

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr Summary

All the Light We Cannot See is a war novel written by American author Anthony Doerr, published by Scribner on May 6, 2014. It won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Set in occupied France during World War II, the novel centers on a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths eventually cross...

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All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr Book Reviews (7,407)


Trite story in great setting2 star

Trite story in great setting—blind motherless girl meets albino tech-savvy boy—what are their chances? 25


A literal journey5 star

Although many other reviews state that the book starts off slow or that the characters are hard to connect with I did not feel that way. Right from the jump it pulled me in and made me want to read more. The author’s language and imagery never fail to paint precise scenes in your mind. The storytelling and connections among characters also intertwine beautiful all throughout the book. Truly a good read from start to finish. 55


Loved it!5 star

Great book! 55


Was a tough read3 star

I’m not saying this wasn’t a good book. It was just a hard read. Disjointed. I get what the author was doing, but it was just too disjointed for my liking. I’m by no means a simpleton, however, when I have to look up the meaning of the author’s words every other paragraph, that gets old. Almost like his ego is based on how many obscure words he can fit in. The story itself could have been amazing, if I wasn’t slogging through trying to read a disjointed, wordy book. 35


Magnificent5 star

The story is woven together beautifully with well thought out characters and intricate details. I loved it! 55


Beautiful book5 star

A remarkable novel. Sad, sweet and incredibly touching 55


Fantastic5 star

One of my top 5 all-time favorite novels. 55


All the Light We Cannot See5 star

Really enjoyed this book. I read it sporadically when time allowed and could not wait to get back to it. The story itself is inspiring but the descriptions and things this blind girl could “see” were what made the book. 55

Frazzled but hopeful

Beautiful book!5 star

So beautiful, even the ugliest parts of war, tragic and awful are somehow made poetically beautiful. I found this to be the perfect beach book, leisurely winding down a multi-stranded path, with tension mounting to pull you through! 55


Breathtaking5 star

I’ve never before had simple words move me so deeply. The author had my heart on a pendulum, from elation to devastation. He captured what I imagine to be the honest essence of what the horrors of that war did to everyone in its wake. The characters feel as if they are actual acquaintances of mine, such minute detail was used in describing the hows & whys of what they did. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. 55


:(2 star

It took me so long to get through the this book. Several chapters I would get hooked then it would dull down. I wanted the characters stories to intertwine so much sooner and when they finally did it was so brief. I wanted to enjoy this story more than I did but I just couldn't. 25


Thoughtful, enchanting, eye opening.4 star

This book was amazing. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen it was different, which was what I was torn with. I love the story and how it turned out, but I kept wanting it to go in a different direction. Refreshing being surprised by the story line and loving it. 45


Breathtakingly beautiful and enrapturing5 star

Hard to put this one down. Makes you feel like you're watching the story unfold before your eyes. Worth every penny and only sad that it had to end! Must read!! 55


Very good, but VERY slow3 star

A wonderful story with wonderful detail. However, the middle half of the book was painfully slow. As much as I appreciated the story and character/scene developments, I also felt they could have been abbreviated to keep the story moving. I'm glad I stuck with it, but this was the first book in years that I came close to giving up on. 35

Hipster of folk

All the Light We Cannot See5 star

Amazing. 55

Jasey Clarke

Mediocre2 star

This book was pretty boring and the characters had almost no personality. It kind of drags on too long to be worth the read. 25


A must read4 star

Very touching and realistic. I hope it becomes a movie 45


Beautiful and more than I dream to see5 star

This book is beautifully written. The main character is a young blind French girl and so there is a lot of detail that goes into describing what she cannot see. It was so descriptive that at times, I felt as if I was there and could even smell the air. It transports you to war, to Germany, to France, to those unfortunate days in history where innocence disappeared and loved ones lost. This was a heavier read than usual for me, but I honestly did not want this book to end. 55


Authentic5 star

I am French and come from near Saint Malo. This book was fascinating and gave another dimension to all the WWII stories I have already heard. I really can picture the whole book 55


Amazing5 star

I just finished reading this book right now and honestly, it was a fantastic well written book. You really connect with characters and go through the journey with them. 55

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