The book 'All the Light We Cannot See" is pictured on timber table top.

All the Light We Cannot See – Book Review

Perhaps the biggest challenge for any author is to bring their story to full life, making the characters real and the scenes tangible.

Most books do a decent job of this, expressing their story in a way that allows readers to sufficiently understand the story. Anthony Doerr, however, brings this to a new level as All the Light We Cannot See develops a surreal sense of empathy within you as the reader.

All the Light We Cannot See places you in the perspectives of two children growing up during the Second World War. One of which is Marie-Laure, a blind girl living in the French city of Saint-Malo and the muse of her ingenious engineering father. The other is Werner, a boy blindly coerced into the Hitler Youth through ambition and promises of becoming a scientist and avoiding his fate of working in the mines. Doerr expertly juxtaposes each story line, bringing to light his poignant criticisms of the way the war forced children into adulthood as they took on the role of fighters themselves.

The complex narrative of Doerr’s work is intimidating at first, but the dual perspectives and alternating circular and almost episodic plot structure has a fascinating way of pulling you in to the point where you cannot put this book down; you will be entranced by the vivid characters and beguiling story line.

Rich with imagery and character, this novel is both gut-wrenching and heart-warming as it brings to life the importance of bravery through love and the determination to survive. These characters and their lives will stay on your mind for days after you finish this book.

About the Author

Rhiannon Evans

Rhiannon is a University Student studying Physiotherapy and is a member at Bethlehem, Adelaide.

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