I bought this book as a teacher gift for the end of school next week, but it was sitting on my table beckoning me to open it…

So I did (sorry teachers).

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

Beautifully written by an author, Anthony Doerr, with an eloquence second-to-none.  Every sentence, every moment, is painstakingly articulated to create voluptuous imagery and rotund characters.  It is easy to see why All The Light We Cannot See won a Pulitzer Prize.

But, and this is my shallow opinion,  the story didn’t flesh out as I’d hoped it would.  The heroine and hero meet for only the briefest of moments – and the love story is just as hasty (and tad lop-sided).

The story travels back in time to the beginning of WWII and details the events and circumstances that lead our hero and heroine into the war; Werner as a Nazi soldier and Marie-Laure as a French Civilian.  The story unfurls the tragedies that put each of them in their (reluctant) roles, and demonstrates strength in what we perceive weak, and weakness in what we perceive as strong.

Overall, it is a lesson to find “All The Light We Cannot See” within the human spirit.

The book held a slow pace for me, and while I enjoyed burying myself in history, I did not find it to be a book I couldn’t put down. I found myself somewhat ‘trudging’ through at certain points with secondary characters that held no relevance in the end, and a secret diamond that held no bearing except for symbolic.

All The Light We Cannot See is thought-provoking and beautifully written and would make an excellent book club read – where you could delve deeper into the symbolism and foreshadowing than you would as a ‘summer read’.

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

I’d say ‘add this to your wishlist’, but I would only give it 3 out of 5 stars.  Having written that, it is a Globe & Mail #1 Bestseller and has won a Pulitzer Prize – so clearly more intelligent people than I disagree.

Have a great one!