All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Book Summary

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.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

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All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr) Book Reviews

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- All the light we cannot see5 star

This book had me captivated until the very end. I was in awe of the way the story was written. It made me cry and only really amazing books can make a person cry.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star

Loved it.

- If you like WWII fiction, you’ll like this5 star

Beautiful story with characters you can’t help but fall in love. So many great elements to this book: the telling of the story from both sides of the war, through the POV of children. I loved the way the story was structured so that you knew what it was leading towards. I think that added to it rather than spoil it. Completely worth the read.

- Let down1 star

I read this after I read “the nightingale” and I think because the other book was so good, I felt this was horrible. I had to force myself through every page

- Completely recommend5 star

I love this book so much. Especially science there so much tea in this book. But, I do wish there was more of a plot twist. Overall it’s a great book.

- Trite story in great setting2 star

Trite story in great setting—blind motherless girl meets albino tech-savvy boy—what are their chances?

- A literal journey5 star

Although many other reviews state that the book starts off slow or that the characters are hard to connect with I did not feel that way. Right from the jump it pulled me in and made me want to read more. The author’s language and imagery never fail to paint precise scenes in your mind. The storytelling and connections among characters also intertwine beautiful all throughout the book. Truly a good read from start to finish.

- Loved it!5 star

Great book!

- Was a tough read3 star

I’m not saying this wasn’t a good book. It was just a hard read. Disjointed. I get what the author was doing, but it was just too disjointed for my liking. I’m by no means a simpleton, however, when I have to look up the meaning of the author’s words every other paragraph, that gets old. Almost like his ego is based on how many obscure words he can fit in. The story itself could have been amazing, if I wasn’t slogging through trying to read a disjointed, wordy book.

- Magnificent5 star

The story is woven together beautifully with well thought out characters and intricate details. I loved it!

- Beautiful book5 star

A remarkable novel. Sad, sweet and incredibly touching

- Fantastic5 star

One of my top 5 all-time favorite novels.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star

Really enjoyed this book. I read it sporadically when time allowed and could not wait to get back to it. The story itself is inspiring but the descriptions and things this blind girl could “see” were what made the book.

- Beautiful book!5 star

So beautiful, even the ugliest parts of war, tragic and awful are somehow made poetically beautiful. I found this to be the perfect beach book, leisurely winding down a multi-stranded path, with tension mounting to pull you through!

- Breathtaking5 star

I’ve never before had simple words move me so deeply. The author had my heart on a pendulum, from elation to devastation. He captured what I imagine to be the honest essence of what the horrors of that war did to everyone in its wake. The characters feel as if they are actual acquaintances of mine, such minute detail was used in describing the hows & whys of what they did. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

- Meh2 star

Much has been made of this novel, which in my opinion could have been reduced by 200 pages while still keeping its voice. Great prose but it plods and plods. Overrated.

- All the Light We Cannot See3 star

Enjoyable, but not a satisfying ending.

- Amazing5 star

What an incredible book!! Loved every second reading it. Thank you for writing this incredible novel!

- Beautiful book5 star

Loved it.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star

This book is the best book I’ve ever read. It should be made into a movie.

- Almost perfect5 star

Simple review. Great book. Vivid, beautiful prose. Characters that will never leave you. You feel their heartache, their love, their desires, their sadness as if it’s your own. Buy it. Read it.

- Favorite Book Ever5 star

This book was amazing. It had so many different plots and sub-stories going at once in a way that was easy to follow and connected beautifully at the end. A must-read.

- Loved it5 star

Different.... Good!

- Slow1 star

Honestly, this book was slow and kind of boring. I typically love books set in WWII.... this one was not for me.

- A very beautiful book5 star

This book is very beautiful and painful it is heart warming and sad but at the end it is all so beautiful

- Tragically beautiful4 star

A tragically beautiful story of life and death. A story filled with moments of despair with hope on the very next page. It left me feeling angry, sorrowful and in the end hopeful. You won't regret the time spent reading it.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star

This book brought back inspiration as a reader. After many years lost. It touched my soul with the author's beautiful language and lovable, flawed, genuine characters. My heart is bursting. Must read!

- Great5 star

The best book

- Haunting5 star

A haunting story of love and loss during WWII and its aftermath.

- Amazing5 star

Everything about this book, from start to finish, was absolutely incredible!

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- Fantastic !5 star

The only person who can see the light is blind and all the other characters stumble through in anguish and turmoil. Could not stop reading. Loved it from cover to cover.

- Could not stop reading5 star

Very well written with most compelling characters. Historical background story is very accurate. Highly recommended (I see Tom Hanks in the role of Etienne ;=) )

- So very good...5 star

I’m not good with words… I just couldn’t resist putting a 5-star rating here so that people might choose this wonderful book ahead of another one. It’s so worth the time.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star

This book is incredibly well written, a masterpiece, a work of art. A must read!

- Crap1 star

A pale, vapid imitation of Hemingway that co-opts both times and places with which the author is unfamiliar, and is original only in the extent of its aesthetic redundancy on a literary stage replete with such works

- Amazing book5 star

Hard to define the category. A wonderful book that combines suspense, mystery, romance, tragedy set in a backdrop of rapidly changing history. Characters that live on after you close the book and a story that you don't want to end. One of the best books I have ever read.

- Amazing5 star

This book is truly amazing. The amount of detail bring the story to life and you become so involved with the lives of the characters. Really gives you a beautiful look at the nature of people and the brutality of the war.

- If I could5 star

All The Light We Cannot See, is, as it's title suggests, purely made of magic. The story, the characters are so unassuming they will absorb you (and all your time) in a Carol Shields esque trap. Just one more sentence, paragraph, chapter, until you smile and realize your far down this rabbit hole that you have no desire to come back up. Almost every sentence is a reduction, a photograph made of poetry and still finds traction in historical accuracy; so is it an extended poem, a beautiful work of historical fiction? It finds a balance between both, very real and effortlessly enchanting. Not to compare, never to compare, but it is The Fabulous Life of Amelie entwined with The Piano and spiced with a dash of Luka and The Fire Of Life. If I could I would use the same entwining of poetry prose and verbal photography to capture and describe the elegance of this book but then if I could I would have written it. If I could....

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- Amazing.5 star

Just read it. Take your time.

- Good5 star

Han Solo dies at the end of Star Wars

- Great read5 star

Enjoyable read, very well written. A good perspective as seen from both sides of the war. Highly recommend

- Excellently written5 star

It is hard to put into words how good this book is and why...simply put, it's one of the best stories I've read in quite some time.

- :(2 star

It took me so long to get through the this book. Several chapters I would get hooked then it would dull down. I wanted the characters stories to intertwine so much sooner and when they finally did it was so brief. I wanted to enjoy this story more than I did but I just couldn't.

- Thoughtful, enchanting, eye opening.4 star

This book was amazing. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen it was different, which was what I was torn with. I love the story and how it turned out, but I kept wanting it to go in a different direction. Refreshing being surprised by the story line and loving it.

- Breathtakingly beautiful and enrapturing5 star

Hard to put this one down. Makes you feel like you're watching the story unfold before your eyes. Worth every penny and only sad that it had to end! Must read!!

- Very good, but VERY slow3 star

A wonderful story with wonderful detail. However, the middle half of the book was painfully slow. As much as I appreciated the story and character/scene developments, I also felt they could have been abbreviated to keep the story moving. I'm glad I stuck with it, but this was the first book in years that I came close to giving up on.

- All the Light We Cannot See5 star


- Mediocre2 star

This book was pretty boring and the characters had almost no personality. It kind of drags on too long to be worth the read.

- A must read4 star

Very touching and realistic. I hope it becomes a movie

- Beautiful and more than I dream to see5 star

This book is beautifully written. The main character is a young blind French girl and so there is a lot of detail that goes into describing what she cannot see. It was so descriptive that at times, I felt as if I was there and could even smell the air. It transports you to war, to Germany, to France, to those unfortunate days in history where innocence disappeared and loved ones lost. This was a heavier read than usual for me, but I honestly did not want this book to end.

- Authentic5 star

I am French and come from near Saint Malo. This book was fascinating and gave another dimension to all the WWII stories I have already heard. I really can picture the whole book

- Amazing5 star

I just finished reading this book right now and honestly, it was a fantastic well written book. You really connect with characters and go through the journey with them.

- Great book!5 star

I'm normally a thriller and mystery type reader but I took a chance on this book because of all the great reviews. I was not disappointed! This is possibly one of the best books I have ever read. So detailed (but not overly so) that all of my senses were engaged; I was there with the characters and in one case I actually held my breath so I wouldn't be heard.

- Amazing5 star

I couldn't put this book down. It was simply amazing and so well written I felt like I was there. I was disappointed that it ended and wish there was more!

- Magnificent story. Well written5 star

One of the best novels I have read. Well worth your time.

- Right cover Wrong Book1 star

I downloaded this from iBooks and while the cover and headings at the top seem correct the actual content on the pages is Fifty Shades of Grey can someone please fix this

- Beautiful!5 star

Loved this story. Character development was on the mark. Beautifully crafted story.

- Breathtaking5 star

Absolutely loved this book. It was so well written. The author takes you on this journey with the two main characters that you'll never want it to end.

- Incredible5 star

Easily one of the best books I've ever read.

- Amazing!5 star

Thank you Anthony Doerr for taking me on this journey. Emotionally charged!

- Absolutely amazing!5 star

I hardly ever rate a novel 5 stars but this one was phenomenal. You must read it!

- Wonderfully written5 star

Characters as big as life, easy to read, wonderful story.

- All the light we cannot see4 star

Doerr descriptions are near to Steinbeck quality.

- Sad, depressing, unsatisfying.2 star

I'm sorry. There is obvious effort and talent here but I don't see enough light to enjoy the trip.

- Read this book!5 star

This will probably be the best book I will ever read, because I can't imagine how anything could be better. You will fall in love with Marie-Laure and you will empathize with Werner. There isn't any emotion I didn't feel reading this book. Anthony Doerr's writing is incredibly beautiful. Read it!

- Superb5 star

Searing fiction.

- Powerful5 star

Beautifully written. Soul-searing. This story will stay in your heart. Painful, powerful portrayal of the goodness and complexity of the human spirit.

- Beautifully written!!!5 star

Amazing story, characters, and events!!! It's a sad story but some how beautiful at the same time.

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5 star

#MythTakeReadsso excited to be participating in the makeyourmythtajer readathon! Faerie track with Faefever, The af…

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@literarybase Buku-bukunya Ruta Sepetys (harus baca bagus bgt) The book Thief All the light we cannot see

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Marked as to-read: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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@ananya_is__pika: 'He sweeps her hair back from her ears;he swings her above his head.He says she is his émerveillement.He says he will…

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'He sweeps her hair back from her ears;he swings her above his head.He says she is his émerveillement.He says he wi…

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@ChikaMadu100: All the light we cannot see. His family deserves more. 🙏🏾🤦🏾‍♂️

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@nogbad @amscanlon Well, I’m no literary expert but it irked me that there are millions of amazing reads and I’d wa…

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@ChikaMadu100: All the light we cannot see. His family deserves more. 🙏🏾🤦🏾‍♂️

5 star

All the light we cannot see. His family deserves more. 🙏🏾🤦🏾‍♂️

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@HalpernAlex God same. I'm reading All the Light We Cannot See and my husband is reading All Quiet on the Western F…

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On page 289 of 531 of All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

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@Mushkamushk @DianeB31 You won’t be disappointed with ‘All the Light We Cannot See’. It’s a great read.

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@ROBR813 I can only hope that the cracks in our society create the light from which we can all finally see what’s r…

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@literarybase Sebenernya belum selesai baca, tapi nightingale dan all the light we cannot see.

5 star

@Mushkamushk @DianeB31 I loved All The Light We Cannot See. 😊

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