All the Light We Cannot See: Book Review

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My goal for the year (June ’16- June ’17) is to read 15 books so I thought I’d get started with a highly lauded fiction book. I began All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr as an audio book on Audible, but let me tell you, this one is not suited for listening only. After three attempts to listen to the first chapter I quickly downloaded the book to my Nook and was hooked!

The story is based in France and Germany during World War 2. Chapters alternate between two main characters and a couple of minor ones thrown in there, especially towards the end. One is a sixteen year old girl, Marie Laurie, who is blind and lives in Paris with her father. They are forced to leave their home and move in with an uncle in Saint-Malo when the war reaches Paris. Shortly after their arrival her father is arrested and Marie Laurie is essentially on her own. She is involved in acts of rebellion. bravery, and wit and by far my favorite character in the entire novel. The second major character is Werner, an orphan, turned Hitler Youth, turned expert radio repairman for the German army. His story provides an intriguing perspective on Nazi Germany during the war and explains why so many joined Hitler’s legion.

Literally every sub-chapter switches characters, which makes listening to the audiobook challenging, but it flows effortlessly when reading. Suspense is easily accomplished through build up and throw backs in timeline and foreshadowing of character intersections. I started and finished the book within a week and found it difficult to put down when I needed to (to, you know, eat and sleep). Doerr uses wonderful imagery which helps to set the scene for readers, giving us eyes into the war.

If you are not a fan of thinking while reading you may want to save this book for another time, but if complicated twist and turns, action and suspense are your thing I highly recommend this title. I would read it again if I didn’t have so many other novels I need to get tackle. It is really a job well done! Happy reading!

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