Wednesday, March 15, 2017

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Scribner 2014
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
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.


I had high expectations for All the Light We Cannot See. Super high. Like, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah high - especially because I knew that All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize and the Andrew Carnegie medal. Well, apparently my small mind didn’t appreciate fine literature like I had hope it would! Honestly, I didn’t mind the book, but because I didn’t absolutely love it, I was disappointed anyway. Perhaps this was because it wasn’t focused on the characters but on what happened to them. Personally, I enjoy books the most when I feel like a character has become my best friend. Also, it was longer than it looked, coming in at 530 pages. Finally, I thought the jewel element would add a bit of adventure and suspense to a sad time in history. However, it didn’t grab me. In fact, it made the story seem a bit more shallow and empty in comparison to all of the death and destruction. All in all, I’m glad I read it.

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