Book Review: All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book Review_ All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, feature image

Everyone of you must be aware of radios right? Hearing the voice of a stranger through an electronic device is not a big deal however during it’s early days of invention it was a huge discovery and the author has captured the same in the novel All the lights we cannot see by Anthony Doerr. The book delivers the scenario of what’s happening in Germany in the late 30s and how it’s leading up to the war. 

All the lights we cannot see by Anthony Doerr follows the story of two teenagers during world war II. One blind girl, who excels at studying science, lives in Nazi-occupied France with her father, the locksmith at the museum. On the other side, a German orphan boy, who is gifted with interest in electronics, pressed into the service by the Nazi Army. The story goes back and forth between their lives. Both their paths collide as they try to survive the destruction of WW2.

The structure of the novel has many exciting things that keep you going in searching off between two stories that lead to a kind of curiosity and keep you engaged in seeing how these characters build the story and how they all are going to come together. The novel touches many themes, including the power of voice.

This novel has a lot more than just a story and it would be fantastic if you could a part of it. So let’s begin with a little overview of this book and see how interesting it could be.

All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | General Overview 

All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr _ General Overview | Quotes

About The Author | Anthony Doerr 

Anthony Doerr is an American author of novels and short stories. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and lives in Boise, Idaho, USA. Anthony has done his schooling from a nearby school and completed his graduation in 1991. Then he majored in history from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1995.

He earned an MFA from Bowling Green state university. He gained widespread recognition for his novel and was a New York Times bestseller. All the lights we cannot see were his second novel published in 2014 by Scribner.

Book Overview | All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It is a historical fiction written by Anthony Doerr, published on 6th May 2014. The novel received great praises and was a finalist for the National Book Awards of fiction. This Book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015, winner of the Carnegie medal for excellence in fiction, winner of the Indies choice book award from the American book association, and won the 2015 Ohioana library association book award for fiction.

The book All the lights we cannot see is a war novel set in occupied France during World War II. It is told in almost 200 short chapters that all the times cuts back and forth across two main characters, around a dual perspective of a blind French girl Marie Laure and a German boy Werner Pfennig, whose path ultimately crosses as they both try to survive the damage of World War II.

All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | Book Summary 

In 1934, Marie Laura, a six-year-old, lived with a loving father named Daniel, who works in Paris’s museum of natural history. Marie Laura begins to lose her eyesight and goes blind. Adjusting to this Daniel makes a beautiful model of the city Paris for Marie to navigate her way around the city gradually.

When the Germans occupied Paris in June of 1940, both father and daughter ran away to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where her uncle lives in a tall, narrow house of the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, in 1934, Werner Pfennig, an eight-year-old boy lives with his sister Jutta Pfennig at an orphanage. Werner is an intelligent boy though he fears being sent to work in mines when he turns 15. The head of the orphanage, a French woman named Frau Elena, teaches him to speak French and German and encourages him to explore his interests in science. One day Werner falls upon radio and becomes a master at fixing radios. This talent puts him in a brutal military academy and makes him a specialist in tracking radio-resistance.

As the Germans invaded Paris, Marie and her father Denial left the city and were assigned a task to hide the sea of flames a diamond from the Nazi invaders to protect it from the Germans. The novel follows the disappearance of her father and their rebellion against the germans from Madame Manic, Etienne, and the people who live in their neighborhood. 

A year later, Werner’s role is to hunt down the resistance movement who are using radios, and more and more people are killed. Werner’s conscience slowly overcomes his ignorance and ambition. While Werner is in Saint Malo tracking Marie’s radio podcasts, the allied bomber bombed the city. Both were trapped in separate locations. In the end, the broadcast saved their lives. They are united in their ties to the radio and finally, their paths converge in the future.

All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Cover image.
Source: The Reader

My Thoughts on All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. 

I think this book shows how people have the power to make choices and how people respond to situations in life is different. Throughout the novel, you will see how these characters adapt themselves to the problem their life is providing them.

So this novel reveals how much power has been given to this weapon, making them larger than life, which can result in a very destructive manner. You will see how these characters are willing to survive till the end, with all the darkness around them, crushing them with their feet and moving forward.

Rating of the Book All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

All the lights we cannot see by Anthony Doerr has earned 3.8/5 stars from me.

Conclusion & Recommendations | All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The book is super fantastic, and I recommend this to anyone who loves reading historical fiction. There are a lot of stories about World War II but this book has a different story. As you read the novel, you will develop themes like survival, determination, courage, nationalism, darkness and light, and fate or destiny that will fill you with a satisfying reading.

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