Book Reviews

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Book Review)

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Summary

Goodreads Summary :

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.

Pros

Writing Oh God. How do I express the beauty of the writing? The one magical element of the book, which makes it a ‘one of a kind’ novel. The writing turns a simple story into an exemplary novel, and in its writing lies everything of the novel. The imagery, the way it invoked all five senses, the descriptions. I’m not a fan of descriptive writing, but damn. It worked here.

The charactersMarie-Laure and Werner are both characters in horrific situations, fighting and living against all odds, and yet the way they kept moving forward was inspiring and beautiful. There were times when I was cheering for Marie-Laure, my inner mind screaming YES YES YES YES! as she strongly, bravely did something she should have.

The impact. The theme.The book is based on courage, tolerance and doing the little things we do in life. When faced with something devastating, the courage and faith needed to go on is beautifully portrayed. The little things we do in life, they may be little but many a times they have a huge impact on ourselves, and on others. The book taught me to respect and believe in those moments and their power, and that however bad the situation may be, going on ahead is always the only option we have.

This book made me think. It made me pause. It made me put it down because sometimes the effect of those short chapters was too much. And books like these are my favorite types of books to read. So how could I not love it?

Cons

Short storyThe story, even though spread over 500 pages, is actually pretty short. It spans a long time period but what actually happens isn’t very long.

Meeting of Werner and Marie-LaureThe entire book, I had been waiting for when the two main characters would finally meet. There’s this apparent huge-build-up, and throughout the book you know that the characters meet and you’re waiting for it but when they actually do meet, it’s short and unsatisfactory.

Recommend to?

Everyone. Literally, everyone should give this book a try. If you’re a beginner in reading, you might have trouble getting into the writing, but read this book at least once in your life.

A ‘good book’ or a ‘good read’?

An excellent book.

My Rating

4.75/5 stars

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6 thoughts on “All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Book Review)

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