Book Impressions: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

On Goodreads, this lovely book won the 2014 Goodreads Choice Award for best historical fiction.

I can definitely see why. This story is captivating and well written. It’s an all-around winner!

All the Light We Cannot See is haunting and melancholy, as expected. What I find quite moving is the concept of Other. We see this often in these war-time stories, but here, a member of the chosen is actually more like the Other.

Werner and Marie-Laure may seem like exact opposites, but they are two sides of the same coin. They both are flawed and damaged. They both live for sound or touch rather than sight. One side is the male German image of perfection (albeit a tad small), whereas the other side is dark, French, female, and blind. Both sides struggle to find their place inside the static and among the obstacles.

I can’t help but contemplate how seemingly parallel lives often intersect once or many times, sometimes without anyone knowing it or without anyone giving it a second thought. It’s often what we can’t see that shapes our lives and determines our paths.

This story is perfectly paced and artfully constructed.


Favorite quotes

“Her fingers walk the tightropes of sentences.”

“Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.”


What do you think?

My Goodreads


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