When I picked this book at a local bookstore it hadn’t even won the Pulitzer yet. I remember being intrigued by the story summary and knew right away that I had to read it.
All the Light We Cannot See is a beautiful novel where the prose lifts off the pages like a song. You can tell that Doerr was extremely meticulous with the language of this novel, telling two different stories from WWII that we don’t usually get in literature. As a lover of historical fiction, and especially WWII novels, even sometimes I can get tired of the same story being told over and over again. That was not the case with this story.
Doerr tells of a young blind French girl who witnesses the takeover of her country, and a young brilliant German boy whose only means of escape from a meaningless life is to take the opportunities offered to him by the Nazi party. Both of these young children loose their innocence to the events of the war, trapped and forced to make difficult decisions. Rather than a more traditional novel, the writing is almost broken up in shorter prose/vignettes. The concentration here really is about the beauty of the language and the experience of the characters told through beautiful and harsh little snap shots. All the Light We Cannot See is a great book for any historical fiction reader to pick up.