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All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Title: All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Marie-Laurie is a 12 year old blind girl in 1942 in Paris. Her father works at the Museum of Natural History. They both flea to Saint Malo when the Nazis occupy Paris. They find shelter with Marie-Laurie’s great uncle Etienne. Her father returns to Paris after some time when he feels it’s safer, but disappears. After much convincing, Etienne and Marie-Laurie help with Saint Malo’s resistance movement. But with the Nazis occupying Saint Malo, how long will their help in the resistance? Will they be caught? Or can they survive?

Werner Pfenning is an orphan living with his sister, Junta, in a orphanage in a small mining town in Germany. He’s wary of the growing Nazi party. He has a knack for fixing radios which gains the notice of the commanders in the Hitler Youth. Werner goes through military training and soon is sent to the front. His job is to help find resistance movements using his skills as a radio station finder. He knows he can’t get out of the service easy, and doesn’t love what he’s doing. Slowly he starts delaying finding radio signals. Near the end of the war, Werner finds himself in Saint Malo. He knows about Marie-Laurie’s signal but delays telling anyone about it. What will happen when they meet? Will both survive?

Rating: 3.5 – a good story about ordinary people in WW2

Opinion: This was a great book. I can see why everyone loves it. I really enjoyed learning about more about the resistance moments during WW2. It was also nice to see more about ordinary people during WW2. Though I found the book a little dull in some parts. It was a little long for me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the time jumps back and forth. I felt like one or two of the characters weren’t as necessary for as much of the plot as they were in. They were annoying for me. But overall I really did enjoy the plot. I did like how the author wrapped up everyone’s storyline at the end. That was one of the few times I didn’t mind the time jumps. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves historical fiction.


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