All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

“How do you ever know for certain that you are doing the right thing?” 

This book was kindly provided by Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperPress/4th Estate/The Friday Project. Thank you so much!

18143977Title: All The Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 544 (Kindle Edition)
Publisher: Forth Estate
Published: May 6th, 2014
Rating: 5 STARS
Buy: AmazoniBooks|


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 guess there’s a reason why this book has won so many awards and why everybody is talking about it. I have eyed this book ever since it first came out last year, but usually I’m not so much interested in stories that play during the Second World War. Don’t get me wrong, I do love historical books, but much more when they play in the medieval age. However, I’m happy that I got a chance to read and review this book.  It’s nice to step out of the genre I usually read.

This book is beautiful. And I mean, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!
I guess I have never read a book that is so descriptive and also imaginary as this one. Even if you were yourself blind and you could imagine it.

I really liked Marie-Laure. She’s an amazing little who doesn’t give up. It’s fascinating how she manages her way, even alone. I love how much her father cares for her, how much he explains to her and the idea with rebuilding the city with a smaller wooden model is brilliant!

Little Werner is just as amazing as Marie-Laure, so are Madame Manec and Etienne.

“When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”

The older characters have already lived through WW I and now, with a new war approaching they go through the same desperation and fears again. For most of us, who thankfully never had to face war, this feelings and emotion are impossible to imagine, but I’m sure that maybe some grandfather did tell us some stories about it.

The characters are so well developed and well carried out, that I actually would love to meet them. You got the feeling that you really know them.

The story is full of depth. I also found it dense at sometimes but that doesn’t spoil the book.

This book should be a must read at every school because it teaches history and it’s great literature for youngsters in High Schools.


Author: Fhina

Ocean soul. 31 years old book lover living in Helsinki, active reader and coffee addict.

7 thoughts on “All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr”

  1. I read very little historical fiction but this one sounds really beautiful. I do tend to like stories that are set in World War II so I’ll be checking this one out. Marie-Laure sounds like a wonderful character! Great review 🙂


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