One of my friends started a book challenge last year that she invited me to join. The challenge asks readers to complete books based on a list of topics. For example, one book might need to have a number in the title, one could be a book that you’ve read multiple times, etc. Well, a category in the challenge was to read a Pulitzer Prize Winner and I chose the 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
The novel centers around the lives of a cast of characters who are living during World War II. It is the story of Marie-Laure, a young, blind girl living with her father in France who must flee their home in Paris to the city of Saint-Maulo and her reclusive great-uncle’s home as the war closes in. It is the story of Werner, an orphaned German boy with an appetite for knowledge who must leave the only family he knows when he is called to fight for his country. It is the story of the search for a rare and cursed diamond that promises eternal life to the person who holds it.
Doerr tells this story through many different perspectives in various flashbacks. The story begins as the city of Saint-Maulo is being attacked and then transports back to when the war was just starting. We learn about the lives of many interwoven characters and circumstances and watch as those characters eventually are connected through the atrocities of war.
I found this book to be very moving. The vivid details the author uses really bring the story to life. I have always been interested in reading about World War II and found that this gave me new perspectives into what people on different sides of the conflict faced. This is a book that I felt like I NEEDED to talk to someone about after reading. Luckily, I know some people who had read it – and I looked on some of the message boards on goodreads and found an outlet that way as well. It is a novel that I know will stick with me for awhile.
“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr: 4.5/5 stars
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