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All the Light We Cannot See (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This masterpiece tells the story of two children on opposite sides of World War II. Its chapters are short, captivating portraits that interweave narratives and build, one voice on top of the other. The bombs that fall in this book reverberate as real; the hope and love and bravery are originally told and vividly depicted. There are comparable titles that will give you some idea of All the Light We Cannot See’s power—The Book Thief, The English Patient—but this story is its own. No words or review can really capture the poignancy it holds. Put it at the top of your list.

— S.M.C.

This beautiful, sweeping novel captures the feelings of World War II
from the vantage point of ordinary lives. Following a blind French girl
and an orphaned German boy, Doerr evokes the terror of the war and the
hope that continues to survive even in its midst. A true masterpiece
with stunning prose and deeply developed characters, this is by far my
favorite book of 2014. 

— Casey

I picked this up thinking to escape the world I find myself living in, and while the French countryside and German villages are beautifully rendered, this was no easy escape. Werner’s struggles with being complicit in the madness and cruelty surrounding him ring painfully true, and Marie-Laure’s fight for survival is anything but restful.

— Jax


From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" (Los Angeles Times).

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781476746586
ISBN-10: 1476746583
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Pages: 531
Language: English


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