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.
Date of Publication: 10.12.2015
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