All the Light We Cannot See
By: Anthony Doerr
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was recommended to me by Kristin Nycklemoe of Kris and Tell Blog. This beautiful story was a World War II, historical fiction novel. Instead of centering on the historical facts of the time, the books focuses on the effects of the Second World War and those who lived through it.
The novel is formatted in a way of interweaving the stories of Marie Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfenning. Marie Laure is a blind girl who loves to read and learn, and Werner is an orphan who enjoys fixing radios. Doerr uses descriptive imagery and emotional language to ensure the reader knows these characters and their stories.
I am not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I enjoyed this historical fiction novel more than others. I was happy that the novel didn’t focus so much on the times, but more on the ways the characters are coping with this difficult global event in their young lives. It made me think about what I would be feeling if I had to flee my home to escape a war, or even worse, if I had to leave my home to fight in a war. All the Light We Cannot See is a reflective and emotional story with great character development and language.
While there were very nice moments in this book, it did not keep me captivated until the last 50 pages or so. The imagery was sometimes too much and made the novel difficult to read. I wanted so badly to stay captivated by the story, but I couldn’t. I was also disappointed in the lack of emotion I felt while reading. I usually have an emotional reaction to books but didn’t feel any reactions with this story. I went into this novel knowing it would be sad because of the subject matter. However, I didn’t cry or feel any sort of major sadness while reading. I want a book to draw an emotion out of me, and I’m disappointed that this one didn’t.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn’t read it again. It was longer than it needed to be and didn’t draw out enough emotions in me. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy historical fiction. The fact that I am not a regular reader of historical fiction easily could have played into my disappointments.