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All the light we cannot see

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever”

All the light we cannot see ~ Anthony Doerr

If you haven’t read this book already, I wouldn’t judge you since I’m a late bloomer myself but I will urge you to get cracking immediately. Even if, for reasons beyond my understanding, the book doesn’t agree with you; you will definitely be required to have an opinion on it.

Set before and during the years of World War II, the story tracks the lives of two central characters. A French girl (Marie) who went blind at six and an orphaned German snow-haired boy (Werner) who loved nothing more than listening to and building radios. Throw into this mix- astonishing truths about Hitler’s Youth program, an old man who secretly transmitted science programs for children on the radio and a priceless diamond surrounded by myths of inducing immortality – and you have a book that will captivate you by its sheer power of storytelling. I read this book slowly, allowing each chapter to sink into my system, wondering the whole time how and when these two main characters will have their lives collide with each other. The last part of the book is when you feel those conflicting emotions that only a great book can inspire – a delirious need to know what happens next while your heart grips with grief with the knowledge that it is indeed coming to an end. *Spoiler Alert* I ate an entire bar of chocolate and a bag of crisps to deal with the sadness.

The beautiful French town Saint Malo where the story is partly set

The beautiful French town Saint Malo where the story is partly set

Why you should read it:

  • Very rarely will you come across a book with such engaging minor characters
  • If you liked The Book Thief
  • Well paced, you could potentially finish the book very quickly if you wanted to
  • It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2014)

Why you shouldn’t read it:

  • If you’ve had enough of war stories 
  • There are constant jumps in time between chapters which can be quite confusing for a reader who likes it light
  • If you are expecting a grizzly narration of World War II events, this book is not for you