Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Title: All The Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: May 6th 2014

Dates Read: 11/18/2017 – 11/29/2017

Source: bought from library

My Rating:

Goodreads SynopsisA stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel 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.

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel 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 within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

My Thoughts

Ugh guys I don’t even know where to start with this review. I guess I should probably start with I buddy read this book with Jen from @bookscoffeechocolate over on Instagram in the last round of the Tome Topple Readathon. If it wasn’t for her I probably would have DNFed this book because I wasn’t into it at all. I got to a point in the book where the only reason I kept reading it was because I was interested in how things would end with each of the characters.

This book switches between past and present and also switches between a few different characters POV. It felt like it was all over the place and I had a hard time keeping up with how much time was passing by and who was talking. It was all just way to much for me.

I didn’t have a connection with any of the characters and like Jen said I just felt detached. The ending seemed rushed to me and I would expect for a book like this to bring out some emotions in me but it didn’t.

I did like how descriptive the author was because I was really able to visualize what was being talked about. The only other some what positive thing I can say about this book is that it drew me in just enough for me to want to find out how things worked out for the characters in the end.

Overall this was just an ok read for me but I would say if you like Historical Fiction and you don’t struggle with all of the switching back and forth you will probably enjoy this book.

Have you read All The Light We Cannot See? What did you think of it? Did you struggle with it like I did?

29 thoughts on “Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

  1. I didn’t like this book either, and I really struggled with the way it swapped back and forth. I know everyone loves the descriptive writing but for me it just felt overwritten, and some of the flowery sentences were just nonsense. And it’s sooooo loooong, but in a dragged out way. I’m definitely in your minority too!

    Liked by 1 person

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