Book Review Of All The Light We Cannot See

Book review of all the light we cannot see 

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Last year, and the year before, I made it my purpose to read a number amount of books. One of them is the book that I am going to review in this post: all the light we cannot see by Anthony Doer. This book has been on my shelf for some time before I made an effort to read it.

So when I did get started and finished, I can say that this is rich in so many ways. I’m not a reviewer of anything, nor am I good at writing one. But I wanted to put in my two cents on how much this book was inspiring, beautiful, and effortlessly riveting. 

I think of the book as an art, like Monet’s art (my favorite artist). The descriptions and information of the characters, the settings, and the emotions that encircled the book’s themes were quite pleasant. It was indeed like I was watching a beautiful historical movie, but with more emotions and practicality. Though the book had its heart-wrenching moments, the author indeed captivated the surreal scenes. 

Warning: minor spoiler may occur while reading the post. 

“…Werner is certain that his teacher is about to shoot the boy, that they are in grave danger, every single cadet, and he cannot help but hear Jutta as she stood beside the canal: Is it right to do something only because everyone else is doing it?” Excerpt from All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book review of all the light we cannot see: the summary

book review of all the light we cannot see

The book is set in World War II in Europe. It follows the two main characters, a Parisian girl and a German boy, from different living situations, points of view, and countries. The Parisian girl, Marie-Laure, is a young, blind girl that lives with her father. The German boy, Werner Pfennig, is an orphan who lives in a Children’s House, along with his little sister. 

Main Character: Marie-Laure

The two characters’ primary way of living had its good and bad, depending on how you see the situation. Marie-Laure is blind, but she lives a good young life with her father, who works at a historical museum. He’s taught her the know-how of walking around the house through her sense and even built her a mini version of the city they live in for her to learn more about her city. I thought that it was pretty neat for her father to do this for her. They truly have a close daughter-father relationship. I adored that. 

Main Character: Werner Pfennig

On the other side of the country, you find Werner in an orphan house with his little sister. They’re distinctive children due to their white-blond hair. Werner is a techno smart kid. One of his gifts is taking things apart, such as a radio, and building it up again.

THere’s a scene in the book where he finds a radio and fixes it. But he hides it from others because the station he listens to is non-german. His sister is like any typical little sister. But you can also see that they’re both close and stick together. 

As the story goes along, you see both characters losing their only family and gaining new ones. One is hiding from the german while the other becomes a german soldier. The one family member dies while the other moves from city to city, doing unimaginable things to survive. It was tragedy, smiles, closeness, then tragedy again. 

As the story goes, you experience astonishment, tear-jerks, shock, sadness, upliftment, anger, disappointment, but also contentment. 

Book review of all the light we cannot see: the point of view

This book gave me feels. This is one of the first books that I have read that gave me literal feels. Most of the time, I have to put the book down since it was complex and a bit long. It was like one of those 2 hour long movies where you have to stop and really understand what is going on because the story takes time. The book itself is not in order, since it jumps from one year to five years, then comes back to yesteryear. 

The Characters

The characters, in my opinion, were decent. Though Marie-Laure does not see, she uses her senses to explore her surroundings. The way the author used a descriptive representation of specific items the girl felt was well written. I could literally imagine what the girl “saw” and felt. In a way, that was her only way of survival. For Werner…I truly felt Werner. He thought that his gift would be used for good and that his life would be different, but it was a vague visage of what he was indeed going through. 

I believe both characters had to dig into their imagination and survival proficient skills to keep living. Werner was gifted, so he used his skills to survive. While Marie-Laure used her senses to engage with and imagine that her father was still alive. 

There is also a scene where the main characters both meet, leading to a mini love story, but not in the way you think. I honestly thought that their meeting will lead to a happy love ending. Unfortunately, it would not. It was one of those love stories that ended up with a broken heart. But do you know what really broke my heart? When Werner died in an unexpected yet make sense way. It almost led me to tears. 

The book was complex

This truly is a book, in my opinion, where one has to sit down and take time reading it. The author himself took years writing this book, so reading it for several weeks made the book more interesting to dive into. I actually finished the book in one month or so. 

The era of World War II was imaginably described as a broken, misused, confused, stolen, envy, with an amount of hope. I think that is why the title is named ” all the right we cannot see”. For me, it seems like a journey that both characters are going forward to, and the “light”, or good, that accompanies them as they embark on their journey.

I would love to read a book by another author, but is there one? The author, Anthony Doer, left me perplexed, upset, happy, amused, and grateful. 

Book review of all the light we cannot see: verdict?

In my opinion, this is a book I would recommend to anyone who’s a historical buff and love international themes. It’s not a love story, it’s not a mystery thriller, and it sure ain’t an easy read. It’s very intricate and desires your attention more than anything. If you’re a person who is interested in reading this book, get your glasses, water, or whatever you use to read and get ready for historical lessons, personal anecdotes, and showdowns.

Well, there you go. I hope you found this book review of all the light we cannot see helpful. I tried to write as much I could without revealing too much. 

Let me know in the comments below what you thought about the book if you’ve read it. If not, would you read after reading this review? 

book review of all the light we cannot see

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