Set against the backdrop of War, Anthony Doerr’s, All the Light We Cannot see follows to characters, German Orphan, Werner and Blind, French girl Marie-Laure. A clever coming-of-age story with philosophical undertones.

A New York Best Seller, having read it I can see why it has been awarded such a title. The novel is amazingly written, with truly beautiful descriptions and character emotions, as well as a great storyline that will grip you from the start. Doerr’s metaphors and descriptions paint vivid imagery that will engage all your senses.

“They rattle down the long gravel lanes, past pit cottages and trash barrel fires, past miners squatting all day on upturned crates, motionless as statues”

With it’s short chapters and fast plot this novel provides a quick tempo, thrilling read that will make you want to read ‘just one more chapter’. The book switches back and forth from Marie-Laure in France and Werner in Germany, showing both their lives, both before and during the war. The two stories are entwined throughout, cleverly overlapping to slowly bring the characters closer.

The book is also broken up into sections that begin by telling you the year since the book skips back and forth through time throughout the book. For anyone who is concerned that constant changes in time may be confusing can relax as the time and year was easy to follow since that narrative and events before and during the war are very different and therefore it is easy to remember what time frame each chapter is in.

Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon (UK)

Amazon US


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