A Book Review: Doerr’s ‘All the Light’

What better content for my writer’s blog than some book reviews of my favorite recent reading? I hope to post one review per month. Let  me know in comments, what you think and share your reads with me, too.

 I just finished Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and I highly recommend it.  Doerr has the remarkable ability to weave a tale both full of mystery and touching observation, of fastidious attention to the tiniest of details of character and place.  He puts us into the scene and we feel the emotions of his characters at a time of great upheaval, WWII in Germany and France. I could not put his book down, and read well into the night for the three nights it took to digest this marvelous read.  Doerr’s poetic language had me sighing with pleasure along the way and then filled my eyes with tears as he revealed the horrors of war and the inner conflicts of his child characters in a world they could not fully grasp. I quote one of his reviewer’s, Alice Evans,  descriptions of the story by Doerr:

It is “a story about the German occupation of a village in Normandy during World War II, a story of heroism, particularly the heroism of children, whether an orphan girl who asserts her right to distinguish truth from propaganda or a blind girl who learns to see with her fingers as well as her heart.” The orphan girl’s tiny and brilliant brother, Werner, inspires our imagination and admiration throughout the story.

What is amazing about Doerr’s writing is his ability to comb the depths of the souls of these children, to uncover what inspires and motivates them and what ultimately gives them hope and the ability to face horrific dangers, to survive in spite of the them, with sheer endurance and will. 

I cannot recommend this book more. On an added level, it interested me as a writer, providing information relevant to the topic of my next novel, which also takes place during WWII. If I can write a book half as impacting and beautiful as Anthony Doerr, I will revel in the accomplishment. I know it may take years! 

Speak Your Mind