All the Light We Cannot See

A Novel

Doerr, Anthony

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
All the Light We Cannot See
"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful 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 within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr 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 his most ambitious and dazzling work"-- Provided by publisher.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2014
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476746586
Branch Call Number: FICTION DOERR 2014
Characteristics: 531 pages ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

a blind French girl and a German boy encounter one another in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Two wonderful characters, one who becomes a German soldier, and one a blind girl who winds up working for the French resistance, grow up under the shadow of WWII until their paths converge. This is wonderful, moving and beautifully written.

July. This wonderful novel follows two characters, one of them a young German man whose path leads him to become a soldier, and the other a blind French girl, who winds up doing work for the resistance. Very moving and beautiful written, I think that despite its title, it showed us the light we c... Read More »

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Mar 26, 2015
  • bfowler rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A wonderful story told with great style, where the reader comes to want the two main characters, a young blind French girl and a young orphaned German boy, help each other to survive the war.

Mar 25, 2015
  • nionoff rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Not since The Goldfinch did I like a book as much as this one. This one also took 10 years to write - and it shows in the prose, the historical detail, the development of the characters. Simply outstanding! If you read one book in the next six months, make it this one.

Mar 18, 2015
  • chogs rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A wonderful book...highly recommend it. Do not want it to end...Just a few more pages to go!

Mar 17, 2015
  • Mothercat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Oh, my, what a wonderful book - took me a while to get a handle on the different characters, and the different times in which the chapters were written, but once I got my head around that I found it hard to put the book down! Beautifully written, loved the way the story threads were slowly drawn together with some being resolved and others not ... One of those books I really didn't want to finish! Thoroughly recommend!

Mar 16, 2015
  • franque rated this: 3 stars out of 5.


Mar 16, 2015
  • ehbooklover rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing! A wonderfully descriptive and atmospheric story that was so good that it kept me up way past my bedtime. Short chapters kept me reading "just one more chapter" over and over again. Plus, richly drawn, well-developed characters kept me invested in the outcome. Highly recommended.

Mar 09, 2015

Some of the girls at my school, including myself, read this book for lit circles and I absolutely adored the author's writing style! short, sweet, and fluent. Almost like prose. The way he described the scenes was so real I felt as though I was there! I particularly enjoy reading about this time era and all of the girls in my group really enjoyed this book.

Mar 08, 2015
  • CAPoppy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book! This WWII story is told from the perspective of two children; one blind girl in occupied France, and one very smart German boy who ends up in the German army. This book uses excellent word choice to deeply develop the characters and progression in this story. One of those books you cant put it down because it hooks you from the beginning! Run dont walk to read this one!

Mar 02, 2015
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

You may think yet another World War Two novel but it's not in the way you think. Yes that is a big part of what's going on but it's really about the experiences of two kids. Marie-Laure, the blind daughter of a locksmith in Paris, and Werner, a German orphan in Germany who finds himself selected for a military program thanks to his skill with radios and other electronics. The narratives alternate for the most part and are sometimes joined by another's but its these two who drive the stories with the concerns of the Nazis and the French Resistance going on in the background. It's a large book with but a fast read.

Feb 24, 2015
  • sharon711 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this very real story of people coping in desperate situations, with true-to-life endings that can't be considered at all happy for everyone. Just as in our own lives, there is no fairy-tale magic to get us through hardships. Courage, love, and hope are what sustains us. The unusual dual approach of seeing the world through a blind girl's ears and the nonvisual commentary of radio is "eye-opening."

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Mar 09, 2015

"Don't you want to be alive before you die?" -Madame Manec

Dec 29, 2014
  • leberly rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?”


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Jun 23, 2014
  • bixby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

1934-1944 France
A blind girl trying to survive the German occupation and Allied shelling of Saint Malo on the coast of France, a young, reluctant German soldier tasked with finding radio transmissions, and a German officer searching for a diamond which he believes will cure his illness.....fantastic manipulation of characters and events to bring them and the war to an end.


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