April 14, 2016

Review | All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The style in which this book was written was extremely elegant and beautiful, helping the story to flow naturally despite the changes between time periods. I absolutely loved it as the time periods slowly converged through the book as it had been done quite seamlessly, and in a way that drove me to keep reading. It also allowed me to easily put down the book when I had to, say before class, as the chapters were kept quite short, yet detailed.

Being that history has always been a fascination of mine, I loved this book even more as it was set during WWII. Furthermore, it is also set in both Germany and France, switching between perspectives of two characters. I was intrigued by the storyline of both Werner and Marie-Laure and the situations that they were both put in. Moreover, through Werner, a German orphan, we can really see the conditioning and brainwashing of too many children during the Nazi regime in Germany. It was a disheartening reminder of how easy people comply with certain ideals when faced with less than ideal situations such as the hyperinflation and poverty of Germany prior.

Through Marie-Laure, we were able to see the beautiful imagery and description of Saint-Malo, a place I hadn't known existed before I read this book. But because Marie-Laure is also blind, Anthony Doerr used this fact to heighten the description of Saint-Malo through sounds and smells, which was extremely effective. Her story is also one filled with sorrow, but also with inspiration. In a way, her storyline reminded me of Anne Frank too. Anthony Doerr did an amazing job in slowly shifting the frame of references of both characters as they grew up.

All in all, All The Light We Cannot See was a beautiful book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction set during WWII.

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