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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

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July 29, 2014  
 
4.8 (4)
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All the Light We Cannot See

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Publish Date:
ISBN:
9781476746586
Pages:
544pp
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Available As Kindle Book
Yes
Available On Overdrive
Yes
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Overview

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Story held my interest 
 
4.6  (4)
Writing style 
 
4.8  (4)
Characters 
 
4.9  (4)
Ratings (the higher the better)
Story held my interest
Writing style
Characters
User Review
Discuss the setting and the role it played. Describe when and where the story takes place.
Who are the main characters? What problems or conflicts does each character face in the book? Briefly describe each character.
What are the good points of this book? What did the author do well? Tell why you liked the book.
What, if any, were the bad points in the book? What did you feel the author did poorly? Tell why you didn't like the book.
This is where you give a brief summary of the book. Tell about at least two events that took place in the story. Don't give away the ending but give a 20 second synopsis that describes the story.
Without giving away the ending tell whether or not the ending was satisfying. Did the end fit the story?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Story held my interest 
 
5.0
Writing style 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0

All The Light We Cannot See

User Review

Setting
Marie is first set in Paris, France 1944 in an apartment down the street from the Museum of Natural History. The story then moves to Marie and her father on the road looking for a place to stay. It then settles on Maries Uncles house in Saint-Malo. Werner’s Story begins in an orphanage within German borders in 1944. He then finds himself in the highly prestigious academy for HItler Youth. This is where Werner must decide what kind of man he is, and far he can push himself. From there he is sought out by one of his professors to join the war and track the resistance with his superior mechanical capabilities. He then journeys through the war and finds himself meeting Marie. This is where their stories collide.
Characters
Werner has many conflicts throughout the story. He is growing up in an orphanage in a ming town that all the boys go down to the pits at the ripe age of 15. When he is offered an opportunity to attend the Hitler Youth Academy he must decide to either stay in the town to mine and stay with his sister or go to the academy 200 miles away from the orphanage and his sister. He then must decide the nazi ranks and all the things that come with that. I think this character is believable. A bright young mind growing up in 1944 Germany and going through the things he did. Marie was a little more believable to me than werner. A young girl who goes blind at 6 and her strong hearted father doing amazing things for her such as building an exact replica of their hometown so marie could study it, teaching her to read braille and allowing her knowledge to flourish at the museum with the help of all the professors that ran the museum. She is kept mostly hidden from the Nazis while staying in Saint-Malo until she runs into Werner.
Good Points
I really enjoy how the author used the two point of views to illustrate both sides of the story as a Nazi Military personnel and the young French girl caught in the crossfire of Hitler's rule. I noticed he used much more detail when describing scenes while Marie was talking in the story to bring to life the fact that she is blind and is using her other senses to decide what something is or where she is. I like how the book kept in tact Maries innocence by always involving good times along with the bad. Werner's side is really good to me as well because it showed the brute force that the Nazis used to take over a population of people. Only the best surviv
Bad Points
I really enjoy how the author used the two point of views to illustrate both sides of the story as a Nazi Military personnel and the young French girl caught in the crossfire of Hitler's rule. I noticed he used much more detail when describing scenes while Marie was talking in the story to bring to life the fact that she is blind and is using her other senses to decide what something is or where she is. I like how the book kept in tact Maries innocence by always involving good times along with the bad. Werner's side is really good to me as well because it showed the brute force that the Nazis used to take over a population of people. Only the best surviv
Plot Summary
The story begins in Paris, France where a little girl named Marie-Laure and her father lived. The book illustrates this girl's journey along with a German boy named Werner Pfennig. The story goes back and forth as Marie is forced out of her home in Paris and Werner is shoved into the Nazi military. The book follows each side of the story from the very beginning with creative detail.
Ending
I believe that the author wanted to say that no matter how bad situations are there is always a silver lining. At the same time I feel that one of his points was that life is full of hard decisions and hard situations that you must over come and make the hard decisions in hope for the greater good.

Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
G
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
G
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Story held my interest 
 
5.0
Writing style 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0

All The Light We Cannot See

User Review

Setting
The story takes place before and during WWII in France and Germany.
Characters
It focuses on several characters, but the two main characters it follows for 10 years before and during the War. Marie-Laure is a blind French girl and Werner is a German boy who grows up to be a radio expert.
Good Points
The beauty of this book is in the writing. Each chapter is short and powerful in its own way. I have not seen a book so beautifully written for a long time.
Bad Points
There are a lot of characters and remembering them all is a challenge at first.
Plot Summary
At the beginning is the bombing of a French village. Both the main characters, Werner and Marie-Laure are trapped. Then through a series of flash backs the author takes us back in time as to how each came to be in this spot at this time. Marie-Laure began as a sighted child of six living in Paris with her father. He worked at the museum, prophetically, keeper of the keys. Werner began as an orphan in a German mining town listing to French radio on a machine he built himself from spare parts. What follows is a series of accidents and coincidences that tell a beautiful story.
Ending
I wished for more, but it is what it is.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
G
Violence
R
Drug and Alcohol Use
G
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Story held my interest 
 
4.5
Writing style 
 
4.5
Characters 
 
5.0

User Review

Setting
This takes place at first in peaceful France and Germany where there is talk of a new leader and a rising tension. It progresses to World War II with Germany training soldiers for the front lines and France under occupation.
Characters
Werner is a believable and surprisingly sad character to read. He started out as a young orphan with a knack for technology that only wanted more out of life than to work in the mines and die at a young age. Doerr makes Werner relatable, despite the fact that he is fighting for Germany, because the reader is not shown an extremist who firmly believe in the Arian race, but a young man who was taught all these strange ideals from a young age and is only trying to preserve his life and figure out what is right.
Marie-Laure’s character was fiercely strong and independent despite her disability and the Author makes her more likable because of this. At first she was a simple (though blind) Parisian girl who led a fairly privileged life, making her seem somewhat generic. As the story progressed she was faced with many hardships as a young disabled girl on the wrong side of the war in an occupied country, and though she didn’t win every battle she fought, she was more realistic because of this. No one gets out completely unscathed in a war, not even the heroine.
Good Points
The way Anthony Doerr set up the story of these two characters was very interesting in the sense that it started at the middle. The first chapter was the middle of the two characters stories and then it goes back from there. The reader is then shown each character as a child where the story starts and goes from there. It gave a great sense of build up and tension.
Bad Points
The story felt a little slow reading about their separate lives and not knowing exactly what had happened.
Plot Summary
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a historical fiction book about a young French girl and young German boy. Werner is a small-for-his-age sixteen year old radio mechanic serving as part of a German team that travels across Europe looking for people transmitting secret messages in resistance to the occupation. Marie-Laure is a sixteen year old blind girl whom is living with her estranged uncle, the two of them are one of the few fighting back with their secret transmissions. The book follows their separate stories and choices from before the war that lead to one of them being trapped in a house with an enemy willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, and the other trapped in the rubble of a basement after an air strike with no food and little water.
Ending
Considering it was a book about a war that affected so many throughout the world, I would say it was fairly happy. It wasn’t all very neatly tied with a bow and some events I wish hadn’t happened, but I still think that the ending was great as it was. I believe it gave me a better understanding of people in general, but especially those who are thought to be the bad guys. The story sat very strictly in the gray area, nothing was black and white, and neither was the ending. It was both happy and sad, and entirely realistic considering the events it surrounded.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
4.5
Characters 
 
4.5

All the Light We Cannot See

User Review

Setting
The story is set during World War II. Marie Laure is a young girl living in Paris and Werner is a young boy living in Germany.
Characters
Marie Laure lives with her father when World War II begins. She lost her sight as a young girl but her father taught her to be able to find her way through her neighborhood with confidence. Her father, who works at a museum, is given a precious jewel to protect and they flee to St Malo to live with their great uncle, who is still recovering from the horrors of World War I. Werner, about the same age as Marie Laure, lives in an orphanage with his sister in Germany. He has a great knack for electronic tinkering and is soon scooped up by the Hitler Youth. Their paths cross in 1944.
Good Points
This book is beautifully written. It is incredibly sad and touching.
Bad Points
This book read a little more slowly than usual. It's worth taking the time to allow the story to unfold, but you have to be patient.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG
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