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All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

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Completed on 18 March 2023
ISBN : 9780008172428
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A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel 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, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times). 


This was an amazing and emotional book to read, and the story of it is also really interesting. A gorgeous, immensely ambitious book about a blind French girl and a blind German boy who cross paths in occupied France as they both struggle to escape the carnage of World War II. Marie-Laure's father works as the master of the Museum of Natural History's numerous locks, and they both reside in Paris close to the museum. Marie-Laure loses her sight when she is six, so her father creates an exact scale model of their neighbourhood so she can learn it by touch and find her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve years old, the Nazis have taken over Paris, and her father and daughter leave to Saint-Malo, a walled city where Marie-Laure's great uncle lives alone in a tall home by the sea. Such kind of plot established in such a sensitive time of history makes this story amazing.

Anthony Doerr's masterful novel, "All the Light We Cannot See," is a mesmerizing and haunting exploration of love, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit set against the backdrop of World War II. With its lyrical prose, intricate storytelling, and richly developed characters, this book is a triumph that will leave readers profoundly moved. The characters in "All the Light We Cannot See" are richly developed and achingly human. Marie-Laure and Werner, in particular, are portrayed with depth and complexity, evoking empathy and compassion from the readers. Their struggles and triumphs, their fears and hopes, are portrayed with such authenticity that one cannot help but become emotionally invested in their stories. The supporting cast is equally well-drawn, each character adding depth and nuance to the narrative. "All the Light We Cannot See" is not just a novel about war; it is a poignant exploration of the power of human connection, the triumph of the human spirit, and the enduring light that shines even in the darkest of times. Anthony Doerr has created a literary masterpiece that will resonate with readers long after they finish the last page.

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