All the Light We Cannot See is a gorgeously written novel about beauty, love, courage, and history. Two teenagers – a blind girl in Paris, an orphan boy in Germany – are coming-of-age with the coming of war. When Marie Laure and her father flee Paris, they may be carrying one of France’s greatest treasures (and curses). Werner’s fascination with radios, and his fear of the mines that killed his father, make him a valuable soldier for the Reich. You want to savor every sentence, every image, but the pages fly anyway as the novel follows their paths to Saint-Malo, a walled city on the coast of France under siege at the end of the war. The smallest spark of humanity, a fleeting connection across borders, the apocalyptic devastation of war; in the vastness of time, they almost disappear, but they all matter. It’s not a new subject, but it reads like one: life.
— Sara, Atlanta
I can understand the passion for this book. Seeing the world unfold though her blind eyes was enlightening. "No Man is an Island" rang loud and clear from this book. How our lives can and do touch each other in ways we may never fully appreciate but are critical no less. Strong recommendation for this book. — Becky, Minneapolis
May 2014 Indie Next List
“The French girl cannot see, but she can hear, feel, and explore the world around her like a budding naturalist. The German boy has no parents, but he teaches himself how coils of copper can receive lessons of love and learning. It's World War II, however, and the potential of thousands of children will be unrealized or thwarted. Will a mythical gemstone save them or unite them? Gorgeously written, Doerr's epic tale brings alive the beauty of two souls, their quest for learning, the turbulent times they cannot control, and the rock that mysteriously guides their fate.”
— Harriett Logan, Loganberry Books, Shaker Hts, OH
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful 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 in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. 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).
About the Author
Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.