Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Jaú By | February 16, 2015 bratlwcs

Personally I wouldn’t have reached into a novel that talks about WWII and the Nazis on my own. Though I love history I often find the atrocities of war too depressing to consider as quality time reading. However, everyone was raving about the book so much, I decided I had nothing to lose if it was indeed in my library waiting for the right moment to come. Better safe than sorry I suppose. A few weeks back I had nothing better to read and while browsing my book shelves the heavy novel kept finding its way back into my hands therefore I decided why not, so be it.

The sense of danger and impending doom never leaves you as you flip through the pages. It doesn’t follow one consistent timeline, rather goes back and forth between a panicking sixteen-years-old Marie-Laure all alone in a house being bombed by the Allied troops, the orphan yet brilliant kid Werner who is now a German soldier trapped under the rubbles of a bombed hotel, and the menacing German official who is stalking the house Marie-Laure is in, waiting for the moment to go in and look for the once thing that could save his live. The story goes back and forth, back and forth, from the beginning of Marie-Laure’s diseases that caused her to lose her sight, from the poor upbringing of Werner in the orphanage and how his curiosity and knack for science could have made him the scientist he desired to be had he been born in another day or another time.

You feel really attached to the characters of the story, to the point of smelling the wood shavings of Marie-Laure’s father or the canned fruits of the Madame Manec. You want everyone to be happy and all right, for everything to work out in the end and everyone return to their old happy lives, but war isn’t kind and nothing returns the same once its over. I don’t want to give away the story, but I loved how myth of the precious diamond was intertwined with the events of the story and how its fate was wrapped up properly. I have nothing negative to see about the novel, I enjoyed every word, I loved every phrase, and flipped every page eagerly and my heart beat nervously in all the right places. Its the kind of story that you read slowly, wanting to enjoy every page just the way you’d sip your coffee in the morning, savouring every sip. No wonder it was a best seller for so long and I would personally highly recommend it.

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