I started this book way back at the end of June. It took me a while to get through it. As much as I wanted to read it, I couldn’t immediately get into it. After a couple chapters, I’d get distracted and pick up a different book to read. If you’ve seen the length of the chapters, you’ll know that’s pretty ridiculously. Some of the chapters are only two pages in the beginning!
I let myself put this book down and read a few short books, graphic novels, and manga to give me immediate satisfaction with finishing something. That must have been what I needed, because once I picked it up again I went full force and finished it quickly.
All the Light We Cannnot See by Anthony Doerr is set in World War II France. In the beginning, there’s a lot of backstory and flash backs. It follows two young people who are affected by the war. Marie-Laure is a blind girl whose mother did when she was born. Marie-Laure was not born blind; rather, she slowly lost her eyesight coincidentally when a cursed jewel (called The Sea of Flames) is brought to her father’s museum. During the war, Marie-Laure is sent to live in a walled coastal town of Saint Malo to live with her uncle.
This is where we’re introduced to Werner. He is also living in the walled coastal town where Marie-Laure is. However, he is not French. He was drafted by the Hitler Youth for his excellent radio communication skills. He’s been giving the assignment of tracking the resistance, and his station is Saint Malo. This is where Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s stories come together.
I hate to give away anything in the book, but this is the kind of book I will recommend to everyone. Doerr’s writing style is gorgeous. He’s very descriptive, and he says a lot with not so many words. The chapters are short. I’m talking a couple of pages. Somehow he crams a lot into each chapter. You feel as if you are right there with Marie-Laure, Werner, and the other characters. This story will stay with me for a long time. If you enjoy stories you can get lost in, then you should definitely read this!