A Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See

A beautiful story where fact meets fiction written by Anthony Doerr. ¬†Doerr’s writing style is compelling and enjoyable while still offering readers a challenge in deciphering his style and language.


All the Light We Cannot See takes place in Nazi-occupied Europe. The story follows two lives from their years as children to their adult years.

Marie Laure is a young girl from France who loses her sight at a very young age. Her father builds her models of the city so she is able to travel through the city safely on her own if she should ever find herself lost or alone. Marie Laure and her father have a beautiful father-daughter relationship; the kind that some young girls can only dream of. Marie Laure and her father are forced to flee their home when it is occupied by the Nazis. The majority of the story takes place in a city on the coast of France where Marie Laure’s life is forever changed.

Warren is a young boy who is orphaned as a child and grows up in an orphanage. He has a fantastic self-taught talent¬†for fixing and designing radios. This is, of course, noticed by Nazis and he is placed in a camp for Hitler’s Youth. He spends the rest of his childhood growing up here and training until he becomes a soldier and travels the countryside completing Nazi missions. Warren is thrusted into Nazi-life without every being given a choice or fully understanding what consequences his work will have.

Marie Laure and Warren’s lives cross paths in the latter of the book as the two’s destinies intertwine towards an ending that will leave you wanting more.

Doerr’s expert plot-crafting is stunning and impeccable. If you have difficulty following complex plots and language, this book is probably not for you. However, if you’re looking for a book that is challenging but beautifully constructed, I highly recommend this book for you.