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All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Book Review

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Book Review

All the Light We Cannot See is a novel by Anthony Doerr that tells the story of two young people, Marie-Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfennig, whose lives intersect during World War II. The novel All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr alternates between the perspectives of Marie-Laure and Werner, and follows them as they each confront the challenges and dangers of the war in their own way.

Marie-Laure is a young girl from Paris who is blind. She lives with her father, who is the locksmith for the Museum of Natural History, and her great-uncle Etienne, who is a radio operator for the Resistance. When the Germans occupy Paris, Marie-Laure and her father flee to the coastal town of Saint-Malo, where they take refuge with Etienne in his old family home.


Werner is a young boy from a small mining town in Germany. He is orphaned at a young age and is sent to live in a boarding school for boys. Despite his intelligence and talent for fixing radios, Werner is conscripted into the German army and sent to the front lines.

As the war rages on, Marie-Laure and Werner’s paths continue to intersect and their fates become increasingly intertwined. Marie-Laure, aided by her father and great-uncle, works to keep a low profile and avoid attracting attention from the occupying forces. Meanwhile, Werner becomes increasingly disillusioned with the war and the ideology of the Nazi party.

One of the central themes of the novel is the power of knowledge and understanding. Marie-Laure’s father is a scientist, and he instills in her a love of knowledge and a belief in the power of science to explain the world around her. This belief is put to the test as Marie-Laure and her father are forced to flee their home and navigate a new and unfamiliar world.


Werner, too, is driven by a thirst for knowledge and understanding. Despite his reservations about the war and the ideology of the Nazi party, he initially enlists in the army because he believes it will give him the opportunity to learn and study. As he experiences the horrors of war firsthand, however, Werner begins to question everything he thought he knew and understood about the world.

Another important theme of the novel is the power of the human spirit to endure and persevere in the face of unimaginable hardship. Marie-Laure and Werner both face incredible challenges and dangers as they navigate the war, but they are both able to find strength and resilience within themselves.

Ultimately, All the Light We Cannot See is a powerful and poignant tale of two young people coming of age in the midst of a world at war. Through their experiences, the novel explores themes of love, loss, knowledge, and the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Language: English

Pages: 544

Date of Publication: 10.12.2015

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is an American author and professor who has written several critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1973, Doerr grew up in a family of avid readers and was encouraged to pursue his love of literature and writing from an early age.

After completing his undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University, Doerr went on to earn his MFA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee. He then spent several years working as a high school English teacher and freelance writer, before eventually moving to Idaho to pursue his writing full-time.

Doerr's writing career really took off in 2004 with the publication of his first novel, About Grace. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and received widespread critical acclaim. Doerr's second novel, Memory Wall, was published in 2010 and was also well received.

However, the third novel, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, brought him widespread recognition and success. The book was published in 2014 and quickly became a bestseller, earning numerous accolades and awards.

In addition to his novels, Doerr has also written several short stories and essays, many of which have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. His writing often explores themes of family, love, loss, and the human connection to the natural world. In addition to his writing, Doerr is also a professor of creative writing at Boise State University in Idaho. He has taught a variety of writing courses, including fiction writing, creative nonfiction, and the craft of storytelling.

Doerr is known for his beautifully written and emotionally resonant prose, and his work has been widely praised for its ability to capture the complexity and beauty of the human experience. He is a respected and highly regarded figure in the literary community, and his work has been translated into numerous languages and published all over the world.

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