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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

All the Light We Cannot See

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Rating - ⭐1/2

"Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another."


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is an award-winning historical fiction novel set during World War II.

As the winner of the historical fiction category in the Goodreads Awards in 2014, it seemed like this book had promise. Unfortunately, books centering around the World Wars are simply just not for me. Give me a brutal fantasy story and I will read it any day, but when it is based on real events, I have a hard time reading it and compartmentalizing it.

That being said, I am probably not the best person to give you an in-depth review of this, as the subject matter is something I just don't personally like. I can see why it has won multiple awards though.

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