All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
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Published by Scribner on April 4, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Military, War Fiction
Audiobook Narrator: Zach Appelman
Audiobook Length: 16 hours and 2 minutes
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Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful 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.
Masterful and poetic writing!
I read this book aloud to my husband. If you have the time and patience, I highly recommend reading it aloud. Doerr provides a master class in writing while gifting you with a heartbreaking piece of historical fiction. A loved one instructed my husband and me to go into this book blind. We didn’t read any reviews. We didn’t read the back cover. We barely glanced at the front cover. All we knew going in was the title and the name of the author.
We had been rewarded with a book to savor. I’ve now read some reviews, and I disagree with any that call this book a page-turner. So many times I had to stop reading, stick my finger in the book, and place it in my lap or hug it to my chest, depending on what emotion Doerr had caused me to feel. My husband and I had to stop and discuss things right in the middle. These discussions couldn’t wait. Doerr draws out the best and worst from inside you.
I wish I had read this on my kindle so that I might have highlighted the many words I appreciated. I love words so much. We got the paperback because one of our kids wants to read it when we’re done. It’s just easier to share a paperback. I just randomly opened the book for an example and found this. It should not spoil you: “…shadows lunge across the broken ceiling like a circle of wraiths preparing to feast.” p. 210
This was the first time I had gone into a book completely blind. I wonder if it’s the last… Maybe I’ll do the same with another of Doerr’s titles.