All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr“
Rating: 5/5 stars
It doesn’t hurt, she explains. And there is no darkness not the kind they imagine. Everything is composed of webs and lattices and upheavals of sound and texture”
Marie-Laure LeBlanc goes blind at age six, living with her father who works at a museum and dedicates his entire being to making sure his daughter is loved and well taken care of. They live in Paris during the German bombings, and are forced to flee their home and head to London, where her crazy, but tender great-uncle lives.
Werner Pfennig is a young boy living in an orphanage in Germany. His exceptional skills in engineering land him a place in one of the most prestigious schools in all of Germany. Werner knows that serving the Germans without believing in their cause is wrong, but he is expected to follow the rules and fulfill his duties. In his final call to action, Werner must decide to obey his military instructions, or follow his heart.
This novel is beautifully woven, told in many different perspectives that eventually intertwine. I found Marie-Laure’s storyline to be the most interesting, although I believe that Werner’s character was also very well-developed. Doerr does an excellent job giving these two children deep characterization, giving the reader full understanding of their personalities.
This book tore me to pieces. Before reading All the Light We Cannot See, I haven’t cried during a book since I read To Kill a Mockingbird 8 years ago. I had to take a mental rest from the heaviness of this novel every 75 pages or so. Still, I absolutely adored it.
The writing was beautiful, the characters were beautiful, the story was beautiful. I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction, but this definitely makes my list of Top Books I’ve Ever Read. No wonder this book has won so many awards. Congrats, Anthony Doerr, you’ve officially changed my life as a reader.