I was given All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer for Christmas by my friend Amanda. I had been looking at it for several months and it made the perfect gift. It has been taunting me from my shelf since then but it never felt like the right time to pick it up until now. I read it concurrently with my friend Kate who did not like the novel nearly as much as I did.
The novel primarily follows two people: Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a blind French girl, and Werner Pfennig, a German boy who is interested in radios and electricity. It takes place during World War Two, starting slightly before the occupation of Paris and going well into the 70’s.
The book flips back and forth between these two perspective every few pages, the main complaint that I’ve heard from other readers. Although I liked this stylistically, it made it much harder to gage time passage between the parts of the book and gave the distinct impression of there being suddenly Nazi’s. Otherwise this was a flawless novel that offered unique perspectives on the war; one from someone with a significant disability, and the other a member of the German populist who doubts but feels powerless.
As you can see, my copy has been well loved. This book is an emotional rollercoaster, especially the concluding 2 or 3 parts where everything looks okay and then destroys you. I rate this book a 9 out of 10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it is going on the recommendations list for sure.