All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerrsticker-burst

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

byAnthony Doerr

Hardcover | May 6, 2014

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
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).
Anthony Doerr is the award winning author of The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, Memory Wall, and the new novel All the Light We Cannot See. Doerr's fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in several prestigious anthologies. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New...
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Title:All the Light We Cannot See: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:544 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.7 inPublished:May 6, 2014Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476746583

ISBN - 13:9781476746586

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Slow start, overall great read! Although I initially found the book hard to get into (at least for the first 20 pages or so), I really dove into the story as things began to unfold. The character development and stories are told so beautifully and I even cried on a couple of occasions throughout the read. Definitely recommend for anyone who enjoyed other war time reads like The Zookeeper's Wife, A Train In Winter, etc #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful book This is the kind of book that makes me feel very blessed that it fell into my hands. It was beautifully written, and the two semi-opposing perspectives made me feel completely immersed in the story. I absolutely loved it and would seriously recommend it to anyone who loves to read.
Date published: 2017-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my all time favourites I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it is in my top ten of all the books I've read. I've re-read it as well and enjoyed it just as much the second time.
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put down I loved reading about the war from these different perspectives. Well written.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Wonderful! If you loved the Book Thief, you'll love this. All I really have to say is, Doerr certainly knows how to write a book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read My first foray into historical fiction and it was a great one. The story is so well told and I love that we see the effects of the war from two different perspectives. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read My first foray into historical fiction and it was a great one. The story is so well told and I love that we see the effects of the war from two different perspectives. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put down Riveting. I loved reading about the war from these different perspectives, it humanized the participants in the war in a way that I have not read before. Just a beautiful book.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A boring retelling of a story told many times over While you'd think a book with so many short chapters would allow you to breeze through a novel, with hopes that it was accessibly written to follow the quick pace, but you'd be wrong here. The book is slow and tedious and the short chapters only make it impossible to learn who these characters actually are.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! I loved how the author wrote from the two very different perspectives. This book shows how connected we all really are.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved this book! It was so well written and descriptive, and I felt like I was there in the story. The dual perspectives was interesting because the characters were so different but still managed to have common ground. This book definitely brought out my emotions.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4 stars for the short alternating chapters and the prose Oh wow, I didn't realize this took about a month to read despite the chapters being 3-5 pages. It was interesting to see the lives of Werner and Marie-Laure growing up during WWII. The small fantasy element added into the story regarding the jewel was intriguing as well. What happened to Frederick saddened me greatly since he was such a lively character and I liked his enthusiasm for birds. Overall, the storytelling was poetic and moving and I'm not entirely satisfied with how Werner's story ended.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story Although the story plot was beautiful, I cannot say I loved the book from start to finish. At times it was a bit slow and only got really hooked halfway through. I was also not incredibly impressed with the ending.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read for War Theme Lovers! I love books with a war theme and this did not disappoint, well except the ending. I can't say I entirely loved how it ended but it was very well written, touching and some parts even brought tears to my eyes. I had a hard time putting this book down.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow but ultimately captivating I found it hard to get into this book at first because it moved a bit too slowly for me, but about halfway through it became hard to put down. It was beautifully written.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite book I love so many books but I really feel that this is my favorite book ever. It's a literary masterpiece. The characters are well described and different. The story is suspenseful and rooted in history. This books took 10 years to write and it shows. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Date published: 2017-08-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from brilliantly written amazing storyline and I love how they seriously interconnect the two storylines at the end, some parts were a bit slow but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too much back and forth I find there is a little too much back and forth between the two plot lines. They switch between the plot lines from one chapter to the next, and each chapter is only a few pages long. It's a bit much and I feel like the story drags on too long.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quite good! I enjoyed reading this, although the ending was awkward and reduced my positive impression of the story.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Historical Fiction All the Light we Cannot See is a powerful historical fiction novel. I find this novel similar to Sarah's Key, but not as well-written. Both novels contain flashbacks ;however, I believe Sarah's Key is a better read.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book Club Pick Everyone in my book club loves this novel. Beautifully written. I loved how the story was told from two different perspectives through the eyes of children. Could not put it down.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow i enjoyed this book so much, oh my god. totally recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Absolute Masterpiece! As someone who has read a lot of books in her life, I can honestly say that this was the single best novel I've ever had the privilege of reading. I tore through it, and I couldn't put it down in the short amount of time it took to finish it. Doerr beautifully crafted a set of characters that stuck with me in the weeks after finishing the book, something that I hadn't experienced in a very long time. This is the first novel ever that I have completed, and immediately opened again and started over from the beginning. Doerr's masterful storytelling kept me glued to the pages, it was told at the perfect pace, not too fast that the book seemed to end too soon, but that perfect happy-medium that keeps you hooked in the I-can't-put-this-book-down-I-don't-care-that-it's-1am, sense. In my opinion, I think it's a book that everyone should read, in a sense, it's life-changing. And as a librarian, this novel is always the first I recommend to anyone struggling to find something new to read, and so far, I haven't had a single person tell me that they haven't at the very least enjoyed it. I cannot even begin to put into words how much I love this novel, so if you're on the fence about purchasing it, go ahead and do it, but also have some tissues on hand.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could Not Put It Down Love this story; enjoy the time period it was written in. Gave the book as a birthday gift and it was well received. I hope they make a movie out of this book.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quite a beautiful story I read this book a while ago, and usually, their stories don't stick with me for long. This, however, was an exception. Written primarily from two (seemingly unrelated) perspectives across continental Europe during the second world war, this book is a beautiful story about fate, love, and the humanity that we all share and can be found everywhere around us if we just look hard enough. Although All the Bright Places took me a pretty long time to read, it was well worth it and I did not feel bored at any point along the way. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful A fascinating and enthralling book. Explores so many different experiences of World War II, from both sides, and gives them all humanity and realness. Yes, the Germans are the bad guys... but they are still people, and not all of them bad. On top of this, to explore what it might have been like to experience the horror of war while blind - mesmerizing. To try to imagine how a young blind girl might process the world in torment around her.. just.. fabulous. The narrative style seems to be one I am reading more and more now - flipping between past and present. I like it, it is an interesting way to build the story, to fill in the puzzle pieces of how they got here as we go. Some really beautiful phrases and imagery in this book. I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially with WWII settings. I always prefer the books that focus at least equally on those left behind - the women at home, and how they coped.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This book was absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing. Seems like a long book but a fast read and you don't want it to end.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from All The Light We Cannot See I loved this book, the story and characters were mesmerizing. I have gifted this book to all my friends to read.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book club pick Another book that was so hard to put down. The chapters are short and keep the novel moving at a fast pace. My book club read it.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book had me captivated from the beginning! It took you through a roller coaster of emotion and a little history lesson too!
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful As an assigned english book, i had my doubts but not any more. This book was beautifully written and the characters were complex and real. I rarely dive into adult fiction but i need to change that
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, but Slow Start This book captivated me from the beginning. The beginning showed the final days and though it moved from past to present, it still made me want yo find out what is going to happen. It is a amazing book, informational and emotional. I would recommend to anyone.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Well Written This book is an absolute time travel experience. It's so easy to imagine being in the exact moment due to such deep detail about characters features, atmosphere and geography of places and the heightened situations that never seem to end.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books Begins slow-paced but the writing is very captivating and descriptive. The story itself is beautiful and historically accurate, and overall a great read :)
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Definite Favourite This book is so beautifully written and captivating. A telling story of two souls in different "worlds" during the war that makes you think about what it means to be human. Doerr's writing will touch your soul.
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A page turner I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down. A poignant story of everyday people whose lives were altered by a devastating time in history. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page-turner A lovely book that I read on the train while travelling this past winter. The story and characters are interesting, which makes for a book that captivates the readers attention and keeps the story moving along. Although I enjoyed the book, I probably would not read it again, and it wouldn't make it on to my top 100 books list. I think it's worth a read nonetheless.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely Easy but emotional read, you really feel for characters on both sides of the war
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! Gems and radios. Like WWII, all does not end well.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Look Past the Hyper-Refined Looking Glass Honestly, nearly impossible to put down; I travelled back in time for the month of July 2016 to France where I made several friends and was given a plethora of inspiration. I will admit, that my first attempt to read this book, I found it difficult to get past the first couple of chapters that illustrated hyper-magnified perspectives of peculiar ideas. However, I picked it back up and I want to tell everyone that plans on reading this book the following: keep going. It gets better; be willing to get get lost on ETS or almost run over by a car because this book will become your life. :)
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read I could not put this book down and the story was very well written!
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written "All the Light We Cannot See" is a beautifully written story. However, I found the change of pace at the end of the story and the conclusion in general to be quite out of keeping with the rest of the book.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must-Read This novel is breathtaking. From beginning to end, I was strung up on every last word. Thank you, Anthony Doerr, for this piece of art.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Wow. This novel is breathtaking. A little slow at first, but the characters are so thoughtfully developed. Werner and Marie-Laure's meeting should go down in literary history.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eye-Opening An incredible read that plays on all of your senses.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I hated to finish it! I love WW 11 stories, and this one certainly did not disappoint. Simple people caught in a horrid situation. Love this book. I'll read it again I'm sure.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Intriguing Hard-to-Put-Down A captivating read. It took Anthony 10 years to write this novel and you can feel all the hard-work and detail that he has put in it! It takes a while to read, but it's a great read. A story that captivates the hardships that one goes through during a war. Not only did she go through the war and survived, but she survived it while being blind. Be aware - the chapters rotate between the views of different characters and the sub-sections between different time frames.You need to be alert in order to keep up with the character and time references. This was recommended to me by a co-worker and I will be recommending it to my friends as well.
Date published: 2017-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Moving story, well written
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite read of 2016 Absolutely amazing book - one of my all time favourites.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from hated it I dont know why this book has such great reviews. I couldnt follow along. so boring.
Date published: 2017-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! This novel discusses a side of WW2 we don't often hear about with poetic language and just the right amount of fantasy. Beautiful and sad and memorable.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything a book should be! An exceptionally well-written book with a captivating story, After reading this book, I found myself measuring other books against this one. Now that's a good read!
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excited to finish this book. I haven't quite finished reading this book yet but so far it is captivating!
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Big fan of Anthony Doerr Yet another Anthony Doerr novel that I love, he did not disappoint with this novel. Very well written, lived up to my expectations.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Its okay... I actually bought this book on a whim and a week later my class was doing it as a novel study. The beginning is quite confusing and not very well written or organized and I found it hard to keep reading. Thankfully I didn't have a choice, once I got about 2/3 of the way through the book it started to pick up and get really interesting. The ending left a little pain in my heart as it could have been a little better or more well thought out. Over all it is a good story. Once I read it a second time somethings started to make sense. But I have never really been a fan of books that write in multiple time periods and switch over from chapter to chapter. It makes it hard to follow along.
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poignant and moving... I was hesitant about this novel when it was first recommended to me by a friend, but was intrigued after an elderly man approached me on the TTC, seeing I was holding the book. He asked me if I had started reading it, to which I replied I had not. His eyes lit up, and he said " you are in for a treat". He was not kidding! This book was devoured in mere days.. any spare time I could get. it is enveloping, sensory and full of humanity. The character's stories are parallel, but portrayed almost polar due to each side being pitted against the other in WWII. It is an incredibly touching story. I highly recommend anyone, and everyone read it.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The title sounds like a lyric from a song I was recommended this book by a friend and I had a very hard time putting it down. The author manages to tell two stories separately. You wonder how they connected and you're kept guessing until the end. It wasn't how I was expecting it to go. Well researched, although the stories of two young adolescents and their experiences during the war was a bit of a stretch. It would have been more believable had they been slightly older.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Appealed to the senses while reading I love books that really appeal to the senses. This is written from the perspective of a blind girl and you can really feel and hear through that lens. I always love novels that are set during the WWII era and this has a historical basis set in Germany and France. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical A moving story that tugs at the heart.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good Loved this book. Engaged the whole way through. The only thing I would mention was that it leans toward being poetry at times, rather than prose - especially in the way the chapters are broken up. Things are from the past and present and future and it can be a bit confusing, but once I saw it through the lens of poetry I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing All the Light We Cannot See is a fabulous read....I loved it. It was powerful moving and wouldn't let me go even after I was finished. I highly recommend this book .
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this book Beautifully written historical fiction.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well deserved Pullitzer Prize You have a Museum Curator, a Blind Girl, An Insane Uncle, and an Engineer for the Nazis, and immediately your mind attempts to solve the jigsaw so that we can see the lives are interlocked by fate. As an English professor of university and college students many books are always piled around me, and it found its place atop my piles, An incredible story told by a credible prize winning author.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! Beautiful story, highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memorable! I read this book over a year ago, and I still think about it from time to time! I thoroughly enjoyed it, some storylines were a tad boring but the others made up for it.
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Vision of WWII Literature A friend gave this book in our book exchange that we do. It sat on my shelf for about a year and i finally decided to read it. I was so angry i waited so long. the images the author paints with his words are amazing and is not a typical WWII book. He makes phrases that addresses the major events such as the nazis and the concentration but doesn't come straight out and say it and leaves you to fill in the blanks. However the book ended in a way i did not predict and was little thrown off but it was still a good ending that left a few tears
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard to put down! This was a wonderful book that packs every kind of emotion. It's full of suspense and you won't want to put it down until you finish the last page. This was one of my favourite reads this year.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historial Fiction with a Riviting Plot This is the best book I read in 2016. The writing style is beautiful - the kind of prose that stops you and you have to marvel for a few minutes at the impact of the phrase you just read. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I like how in the end how it all connects together
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strangely Refreshing This is one of the most enthralling books I've read in a while. I think my favourite aspect of it was just how unique it was - I've never read anything quite like it. There are plenty of books on WWII but this one really caught my attention. It shows the individuality within mass movements such as the Hitler youth and that despite your best intentions, you can still get swept up in something corrupt. It's a truly beautiful novel. My main criticism is that I felt it dragged in some parts and I almost wished that more happened.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flawless This book was beautiful and intriguing. The characters were believable and sympathetic, the story was suspenseful and emotional. The story was new but filled with history. The writing is careful and thoughtful. I loved it.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book! This book was really different, and I just loved it. The story and the characters kept me spellbound throughout. A truly wonderful story.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible! Absolutely an amazing read. Not your typical WWII story and that's what made it so captivating and fantastic. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Great story, well written, a must read.
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely adored it! I read this while I was sick on vacation. I 'finished' it within a day. I put that in quotations because I was so unreasonably upset upon reaching a certain event near the end of the book that I couldn't continue. But I loved it as I usually do historical fiction.
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well written Not what I was expecting but very well written! Enjoyed the story and an easy page turner!
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Slow Start I absolutely LOVED this book, once I got past the first 100 pages. I really struggled with the beginning but once I found the story started to pick up and intrigue me. One of my favourites
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rainy day story A beautiful and carefully crafted story. Perfect for a rainy day.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Amazing book. One of the best stories I've read so far. Beautifully written, and leaves you thinking for a while after.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read The detail and the way the author made you perceive the world through the blind main character is stunning. I had a little trouble with the way the threads were pulled together at the end but in after sitting with for a few days, I felt I could believe.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great novel! I had to buy this for my college level English class. I'm not a huge fan of World War 2 novels, but this is a captivating story. The chapters range from very short to very long, but the chapters are split into various segments, so it's easy to digest. Overall, this is a great book and if you like anything to do with World War 2 then I suggest you give this one a read.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good novel! I loved this story so much. So intricate. Made me cry lots. And I'm usually not a cry-er!
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Really great book...a favourite book of 2016...couldn't put book down!
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Great read...interesting story..well written...enjoyed readjng
Date published: 2017-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read that will capture you to the end. This is an excellently written book full of great descriptive passages, a page turner from beginning to end, a true insight into an era that must not be forgotten. One of the best 10 books of 2016.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating Excellent writing. Enjoyed reading the two perspectives of the war and the humanity of both.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing and well writing book Would definitely recommend this book to friends and family. Doerr spent 10 years writing this book and it definitely reflects it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating and Excellent All the Light we Cannot See is an amazing book, that captivates immediately. Though the book has a slow start just keeping reading and once in the middle of the book you cannot put it down. Anthony Doerr has an amazing style in writing, going from past to present, and shows the two sides of WWII. After finishing the book you are a different person and can see the world differently.
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating One of my favourite books of 2016, that's for sure. A captivating story told from two perspective, two competing sides in a war. This book made me a fan of Anthony Doerr and I'll be sure to check out his other work.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Totally enjoyed reading this book. Highly recommend reading this.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from beautiful story bought this on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Beautiful and haunting story #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written Slow at times, yet haunting. The writing in the book is beautifully done and the characters are unique.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling A fascinating and enthralling book. Explores so many different experiences of World War II, from both sides, and gives them all humanity and realness. Yes, the Germans are the bad guys... but they are still people, and not all of them bad. On top of this, to explore what it might have been like to experience the horror of war while blind - mesmerizing. To try to imagine how a young blind girl might process the world in torment around her.. just.. fabulous. The narrative style seems to be one I am reading more and more now - flipping between past and present. I like it, it is an interesting way to build the story, to fill in the puzzle pieces of how they got here as we go. Some really beautiful phrases and imagery in this book. I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially with WWII settings. I always prefer the books that focus at least equally on those left behind - the women at home, and how they coped.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling A fascinating and enthralling book. Explores so many different experiences of World War II, from both sides, and gives them all humanity and realness. Yes, the Germans are the bad guys... but they are still people, and not all of them bad. On top of this, to explore what it might have been like to experience the horror of war while blind - mesmerizing. To try to imagine how a young blind girl might process the world in torment around her.. just.. fabulous. The narrative style seems to be one I am reading more and more now - flipping between past and present. I like it, it is an interesting way to build the story, to fill in the puzzle pieces of how they got here as we go. Some really beautiful phrases and imagery in this book. I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially with WWII settings. I always prefer the books that focus at least equally on those left behind - the women at home, and how they coped.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Story Well written and touching. The author wrote this story beautifully. One of my favourite reads.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite books It has been a while since I have found a book that I wanted to read slowly so that I could soak in every detail in hopes that the last page seems to never come. This book will be one of the best books that you will read!
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Great reading, I love the way everything is described and I also was fascinated with the whole story!!!!
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get into A lot of details in the beginning cutting back and forth. It takes a really really long time to develop affection for the characters. Was hoping to get into the storyline faster than i did
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slowly but Surely I absolutely loved this book, so much that I bought this book for my family and friends. The beginning of the book did lag on for a bit but in the end it was all worth it.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favourite Book! An amazing book with children's perspectives from both sides of war, which was very emotional as they have to grow up so fast. The switching back and forth from both standpoints kept it engaging along with the mysteries and history!!!
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but a slow start I definitely had to make myself keep reading to get into this book. I found it had a slow start and didn't pull me in right away. It was rewarding to finish.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read This is a great book. There are many different story lines that are all very interesting and end up intersecting. The writing is superb and some parts are slower then others but an overall great book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! It had a great story to tell and I loved that it was much different from anything else I had read from the same time frame. A really fresh perspective. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Keeps you reading. This booking keeps you reading until the end. It is hard to follow at first and some chapters seem unnecessary. The caracters are very attaching, but the ending could be much better. The ending is not clear and quite dissapointing. Made me feel as though the book was a waste of my time.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful "You know the greatest lesson of history? It's that history is whatever the victors say it is. That's the lesson. Whoever wins, that's who decides the history." Not sure what to say about this book. I loved it. I felt I had a time travel to Saint-Malo and Paris and felt the cities during WWII through Marie-Laurie - a brave girl who although couldn't see but her strength kept her strong through rough times. I had a question at the end, what happened to the jewel, and I am so glad the author responded to me and answered my question. I would highly recommend it even if you are not a fan of historical fiction. It's written beautifully. ****FIVE STARS!
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! One of the best books I've read in a long time. Captivating from start to finish. Well written with an interesting story line.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Couldn't get through it I had trouble getting through this book and wish it was easier to read
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new favourite! So happy with this book! Will read it over and over again for sure.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book A captivating read. Couldn't put it down. I thought the ending was going to go a different way, pleasantly surprised.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED This book absolutely blew me away. With the historical content + the story line it was absolutely amazing. Captivating and moving.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read This story is well-crafted, and plays the to the period, which I appreciated tremendously.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from such an interesting story great read, couldn't put the book down!
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional and gripping! "You know the greatest lesson of history? It's that history is whatever the victors say it is. That's the lesson. Whoever wins, that's who decides the history." Not sure what to say about this book. I loved it. I felt I had a time travel to Saint-Malo and Paris and felt the cities during WWII through Marie-Laurie - a brave girl who although couldn't see but her strength kept her strong through rough times. I had a question at the end, what happened to the jewel, and I am so glad the author responded to me and answered my question. I would highly recommend it even if you are not a fan of historical fiction. It's written beautifully. ****FIVE STARS!
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tremendous Wonderfully written - my favorite book of 2015!
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Beautifully written! A little slow in the start, but overall I really enjoyed this novel.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Enjoyed Really beautiful book. We are brought back in time.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good! Very interesting concept, and the author writes very well. However I did find the story a bit slow at moments, but overall very good.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating story I bought it on the recommendation of a colleague. A great story, although slow at times, it did bring you to another time and place. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Story of War, Destiny, Destruction, Death, Redemption and Bravery! I was enchanted with this book from the very beginning, and was drawn into the story as the incredible life of Marie-Laure reveals how a young, blind, French girl deals with war, and all of the atrocities it brings with it. The young orphan Werner deals with his experiences, most of which are thoroughly horrible, from the German side. When they finally connect near the end of the book, the result is electrifying.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read! Really enjoyed the story...couldn't put the book down.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but Slow A very well written, thought provoking story however the plot moved very slowly
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just average This was an average story, not sure what all the hype was about.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! This book was thoughtful and enjoyable. It was cleverly written and the storyline was compelling and exciting!
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful and painfully slow I really wanted to like this book and certainly the first few (very short) chapters caught my interest, but it moved at a snail's pace and I ended up leaving it 100 pages in.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book Very good read - totally engaging story/characters and well researched
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from so good! such an uplifting story. I was so impressed with how perfect this book really was. It's a great addition to my collection of books
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Soon to be Classic A sad and uplifting story. Enjoyed reading the writing and learning more about the characters.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping I always enjoy reading books that are set in places where I have been and Paris and St. Malo are two favourites. Presenting the story from two points of view - a blind French girl and a young German soldier - is very effective. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a story! A nice addition to any library.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pulls you in Once I was a few chapters into this story, I didn't want to put it down. The characters were so engaging and beautifully developed. It was such an interesting way to tell a story from two very different perspectives. It certainly made me feel closer and more sympathetic to actually begin to imagine what the effects of war were for the world and for people personally.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fell Flat I work in a library, and this book was hardly ever on the shelf. From the day it was released and until even now, it is a highly requested book. And I just don't get it... Maybe I should actually finish the book before giving it an honest review but I have really been struggling to get through it. I even tried the audio book on my commute - twice. The writing a poetic and beautiful, but I not hooked on the story or the characters which is why I am finding it difficult to preserver to the end. I have gotten as far as half way and still am not drawn to it. However, I can see the appeal and know that those who enjoy historical fiction will find this a knock out novel. I would still recommend to those who I know will enjoy it, but wouldn't recommend to someone looking for a general recommendation.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book Such a great read. Amazing character development and very well researched - the backdrop of the war was so richly written
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story. I really enjoyed reading this book. You will understand the title when you read the book. I might quibble with the ending, but overall an absorbing and intricately woven story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story! I loved reading this book and have read it multiple times. the characters are well-developed, the storyline is intriguing, and the writing itself is just amazing. Despite the large number of WW2 themed novels, this one is still very original and refreshing.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it twice Even on a second reading, I was completely in suspense. The plot is fresh and the writing good. I love a good war story and this one does not disappoint.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but not great It took me a long time to get through this book. Would recommend if you like historical fiction
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! A really moving story, especially if you love period pieces. This book will be staying on my bookshelf to be read again.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent and moving read From the start this book had me hooked. The way the author wrote the novel kept me in suspense about the fate of the characters. I wanted to keep on reading to find out what happened to them. It was a haunting story at times with these cliffhangers. I really enjoyed the novel. The story itself is really touching and moving. It is really worth the read.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ended up being a great book I had a bit of a tough time getting into this book, but as it all came together, I really enjoyed it. It's an interesting story created in a genre/timeline of books that have been done many times. Worth the read for sure
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful I'm not going to lie...I started this book and kept leaving it and coming back to it because I had trouble getting into it. But once I got in the proper mood, the story forced me to finish and I'm glad I did. This is a beautiful book about a strong girl who overcomes all odds. It's a beautifully written book.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Once I got reading I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Well written but I expected more The book was very well written but slow, and the constant back and forth really took away from the flow of the story. The portrayal of the suffering of the Jews and innocent civilians and cruelty of the Nazis was confronting and realistically described. Secondary characters that I cared about didn't seem to have enough presence to develop so I left wanting more. It seems to be highly recommended but I'm not sure why.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written One of the best novels written based during WW2. The juxtaposing views of Marie-Laure and Werner are unique, and how the author manages to intertwine them is breathtaking. Would highly recommend
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New Favourite! Absolutely loved, loved, loved this book - it's definitely on my top favourites list now. I loved how the author moved between characters and time, and how he brought it all together. The short chapters style was cool too. Highly recommend!!
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i love this book absolutely beautiful such a touching story
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best read in a while! I had to pick a novel I had never read before for english class, and I am so happy I came across this book! I have always had terrible luck when choosing a book for english, but i actually enjoyed all the light we cannot see. I couldnt put it down! a must read!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Moving story, definitely recommend it
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is great! I recommend it.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well done, but slow moving I think when I first read this I gave it five stars because it was heartbreaking, moving, filled with historical information, and all around interesting. Looking back on it now, though, it was just so slow! It took me probably two months to finish reading it when the second half only took me a couple days.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't draw me in I had high hopes for this book since it came so highly recommended. I didn't connect with it from the start and found the read tedious. The short chapters and changing points of view meant that the story wasn't developed to the fullest and in fact felt a little moralistic.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I have ever read!! This story is riveting, sad and suspenseful. It is about two main characters, aboy and a girl, who live in different countries, do not know each other, and yet their actions are directly affecting each other in ways they could never guess. I loved this book!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I bought this book a week ago and I could not take my eyes of the book. I was such a pleasant read and I 100% recommend this book for anyone. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magnificently written There are so many things happening at once in this novel that it's difficult to summarize. Set in Europe during WWII, there's no denying that it has its upsetting moments, ultimately relaying the beauty and tragedy of humanity in so many ways. The writing style is magnificent, specifically when the novel shifts to the character Marie-Laure's perspective. A young blind girl, her descriptions of the world are only the things she can feel or hear or picture in her mind. As a writer, Doerr does an excellent job of describing the world without the use of sight. The story is somewhat slow at points, but this doesn't hurt the novel too much as the writing style makes up for it.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating novel! I really enjoyed reading this book. The two stories were captivating and you were drawn in the stories from the beginning. Also loved getting to know another side to the Great War from the eyes of these two children, one who is french and the other german. The story stays with you long after it is done. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! This book was captivating - so many things ups and downs. Interesting how things come full circle. Beautiful writing style.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS NOW! heart-breaking, captivating, emotional...this book was one of the best books I read in 2015.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Love Lovethis book One of the best booksI have read in years. Could not put it down highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Insteresting Read Couldn't put the book down, always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Ending was a little unusual but overall very well written.
Date published: 2017-02-15

Read from the Book

All the Light We Cannot See Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a tall and freckled six-year-old in Paris with rapidly deteriorating eyesight when her father sends her on a children’s tour of the museum where he works. The guide is a hunchbacked old warder hardly taller than a child himself. He raps the tip of his cane against the floor for attention, then leads his dozen charges across the gardens to the galleries. The children watch engineers use pulleys to lift a fossilized dinosaur femur. They see a stuffed giraffe in a closet, patches of hide wearing off its back. They peer into taxidermists’ drawers full of feathers and talons and glass eyeballs; they flip through two-hundred-year-old herbarium sheets bedecked with orchids and daisies and herbs. Eventually they climb sixteen steps into the Gallery of Mineralogy. The guide shows them agate from Brazil and violet amethysts and a meteorite on a pedestal that he claims is as ancient as the solar system itself. Then he leads them single file down two twisting staircases and along several corridors and stops outside an iron door with a single keyhole. “End of tour,” he says. A girl says, “But what’s through there?” “Behind this door is another locked door, slightly smaller.” “And what’s behind that?” “A third locked door, smaller yet.” “What’s behind that?” “A fourth door, and a fifth, on and on until you reach a thirteenth, a little locked door no bigger than a shoe.” The children lean forward. “And then?” “Behind the thirteenth door”—the guide flourishes one of his impossibly wrinkled hands—“is the Sea of Flames.” Puzzlement. Fidgeting. “Come now. You’ve never heard of the Sea of Flames?” The children shake their heads. Marie-Laure squints up at the naked bulbs strung in three-yard intervals along the ceiling; each sets a rainbow-colored halo rotating in her vision. The guide hangs his cane on his wrist and rubs his hands together. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear a long story?” They nod. He clears his throat. “Centuries ago, in the place we now call Borneo, a prince plucked a blue stone from a dry riverbed because he thought it was pretty. But on the way back to his palace, the prince was attacked by men on horseback and stabbed in the heart.” “Stabbed in the heart?” “Is this true?” A boy says, “Hush.” “The thieves stole his rings, his horse, everything. But because the little blue stone was clenched in his fist, they did not discover it. And the dying prince managed to crawl home. Then he fell unconscious for ten days. On the tenth day, to the amazement of his nurses, he sat up, opened his hand, and there was the stone. “The sultan’s doctors said it was a miracle, that the prince never should have survived such a violent wound. The nurses said the stone must have healing powers. The sultan’s jewelers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it, and when he was done, it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water. The sultan had the diamond fitted into a crown for the prince, and it was said that when the young prince sat on his throne and the sun hit him just so, he became so dazzling that visitors could not distinguish his figure from light itself.” “Are you sure this is true?” asks a girl. “Hush,” says the boy. “The stone came to be known as the Sea of Flames. Some believed the prince was a deity, that as long as he kept the stone, he could not be killed. But something strange began to happen: the longer the prince wore his crown, the worse his luck became. In a month, he lost a brother to drowning and a second brother to snakebite. Within six months, his father died of disease. To make matters even worse, the sultan’s scouts announced that a great army was gathering in the east. “The prince called together his father’s advisers. All said he should prepare for war, all but one, a priest, who said he’d had a dream. In the dream the Goddess of the Earth told him she’d made the Sea of Flames as a gift for her lover, the God of the Sea, and was sending the jewel to him through the river. But when the river dried up, and the prince plucked it out, the goddess became enraged. She cursed the stone and whoever kept it.” Every child leans forward, Marie-Laure along with them. “The curse was this: the keeper of the stone would live forever, but so long as he kept it, misfortunes would fall on all those he loved one after another in unending rain.” “Live forever?” “But if the keeper threw the diamond into the sea, thereby delivering it to its rightful recipient, the goddess would lift the curse. So the prince, now sultan, thought for three days and three nights and finally decided to keep the stone. It had saved his life; he believed it made him indestructible. He had the tongue cut out of the priest’s mouth.” “Ouch,” says the youngest boy. “Big mistake,” says the tallest girl. “The invaders came,” says the warder, “and destroyed the palace, and killed everyone they found, and the prince was never seen again, and for two hundred years no one heard any more about the Sea of Flames. Some said the stone was recut into many smaller stones; others said the prince still carried the stone, that he was in Japan or Persia, that he was a humble farmer, that he never seemed to grow old. “And so the stone fell out of history. Until one day, when a French diamond trader, during a trip to the Golconda Mines in India, was shown a massive pear-cut diamond. One hundred and thirty-three carats. Near-perfect clarity. As big as a pigeon’s egg, he wrote, and as blue as the sea, but with a flare of red at its core. He made a casting of the stone and sent it to a gem-crazy duke in Lorraine, warning him of the rumors of a curse. But the duke wanted the diamond very badly. So the trader brought it to Europe, and the duke fitted it into the end of a walking stick and carried it everywhere.” “Uh-oh.” “Within a month, the duchess contracted a throat disease. Two of their favorite servants fell off the roof and broke their necks. Then the duke’s only son died in a riding accident. Though everyone said the duke himself had never looked better, he became afraid to go out, afraid to accept visitors. Eventually he was so convinced that his stone was the accursed Sea of Flames that he asked the king to shut it up in his museum on the conditions that it be locked deep inside a specially built vault and the vault not be opened for two hundred years.” “And?” “And one hundred and ninety-six years have passed.” All the children remain quiet a moment. Several do math on their fingers. Then they raise their hands as one. “Can we see it?” “No.” “Not even open the first door?” “No.” “Have you seen it?” “I have not.” “So how do you know it’s really there?” “You have to believe the story.” “How much is it worth, Monsieur? Could it buy the Eiffel Tower?” “A diamond that large and rare could in all likelihood buy five Eiffel Towers.” Gasps. “Are all those doors to keep thieves from getting in?” “Maybe,” the guide says, and winks, “they’re there to keep the curse from getting out.” The children fall quiet. Two or three take a step back. Marie-Laure takes off her eyeglasses, and the world goes shapeless. “Why not,” she asks, “just take the diamond and throw it into the sea?” The warder looks at her. The other children look at her. “When is the last time,” one of the older boys says, “you saw someone throw five Eiffel Towers into the sea?” There is laughter. Marie-Laure frowns. It is just an iron door with a brass keyhole. The tour ends and the children disperse and Marie-Laure is reinstalled in the Grand Gallery with her father. He straightens her glasses on her nose and plucks a leaf from her hair. “Did you have fun, ma chérie?” A little brown house sparrow swoops out of the rafters and lands on the tiles in front of her. Marie-Laure holds out an open palm. The sparrow tilts his head, considering. Then it flaps away. One month later she is blind.

Editorial Reviews

“Sometimes a novel doesn’t merely transport. It immerses, engulfs, keeps you caught within its words until the very end, when you blink and remember there’s a world beyond the pages. All the Light We Cannot See is such a book… Vibrant, poignant, delicately exquisite. Despite the careful building of time and place (so vivid you fall between the pages), it’s not a story of history; it’s a story of people living history.”