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.
World War II always intrigued me, so I was really excited about this book, since I heard so many amazing things about it. However, I didn’t expect it would completely blow my mind. Dual POV was done perfectly and I really enjoyed reading about both of our main characters. Their childhoods and all the stuff that happened to them before the War wrapped up nicely into the later plot and I can definitely see all the hard work that was required in order for this book to exist. A lot of research had to be done, and I admire Anthony Doerr for not giving up and spending ten years writing this book.
Another thing about this book that I really liked was that we got to follow our characters at different ages throughout the book so we could get the whole picture of who they are and why they do what they do. Even though this book is quite long and the topic is not the happiest and lightest, it was still a quick read, since chapters are super short nad we keep changing POVs so I never really got bored. I have to say, this was a really smart move.
Now, onto the characters.
Marie-Laure (whose name I just can’t pronounce) was really beautiful character. I loved reading about her. She is such a strong femalce character, no one can deny that. The fact that she was blind didn’t make her weak, it made her seem even stronger, because she managed to deal with everything that happened to her and she didn’t want to give up. She wanted to live, and she did.
Werner is another amazing character. I loved reading about him as well, but for completely different reasons. I liked him a lot as a person and I found him to be very interesting. His interest in radios and basically physics in any form, was pretty unique, since I have never read about a character like him before. His childhood was not the happiest, but it was not terrible either. However, what followed that childhood was not nice at all. What happened to him at the end was realistic, that’s all I can say.
I’m not going to talk about other characters because they are important, but I don’t have much to say, so I won’t even start. I’m just going to say that all of the characters were really realistic and very well done and every single one of them added something to the whole story.
Throughout the whole book I was waiting for the two main characters, Marie-Laure and Werner to meet. I have to admit, I was expecting a romanc. When I got close to the ending (was it 100 pages left? 150? I don’t remember), I was afraid that they won’t meet at all, but then they did and the book immediately got even better. However, there was no romance, because that would be completely unnecessary and not realistic at all, since they were in the middle of the war.
I read one review on this book and there was a sentence which I found so true and which describes perfectly why I loved this book so much. Unfortunately, I can’t find that review again so I can link it here, but this is how sentence went: “Anthony Doerr’s writing made me fall in love with words again.” Yeah, this summs it all up. All the Light We Cannot See is probably the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read and it’s definitely a masterpiece of literature. If you haven’t, you should definitely read it.
All in all, what I liked the most about this book was that it was so REALISTIC and just beautifully written. This is how you write a book. This is what I think of when people say literature. Definitely recommend to everyone.