War does terrible things to people. It deprives them of warmth, joy and most importantly the company of each other. War tears apart relationships. Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and her dad have a very special bond that tests the strength of war.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Living in Paris, Marie-Laure is found near the Museum of Natural History where her dad works. Tragedy strikes when the Nazis occupy Paris and she and her father are set to flee the city.
Now that Paris has been occupied, Marie and her dad flee to Saint-Malo where her great uncle lives. This brings about entirely new family dynamics and issues. Meanwhile, in a mining town in Germany we are introduced to Werner Pfennig. Werner is an orphan who grows up with his little sister. He is enchanted by the little radio that brings them news of places they’ve never seen. This book deftly merges the stories of Werner and Marie and the lives of uncountable humans affected by war.
This beautiful book has many themes, some of the best being:
- Love: love is the biggest theme of this book. We follow love in the many forms it takes. Love between parents and children, love for the city, love for technology. This book really just tells the world that love is everywhere in different forms.
- Separation: separation is central to anything that deals with war. War innately brings about death, chaos and separation. The fear of separation is also a big theme. Marie fears being separated from her dad, Werner from his sister. They are united by their fear and also by their shared love for life.
The central characters of this book are Marie-Laure and Werner Pfennig. Two young children and their experiences with war plays a central theme in this book. What makes this book all the more special is how these stories become interrelated in the course of time.
A book that speaks so dearly of love and aching is filled with beautiful lines, some of the best being:
- “So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”
- “You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”
- “We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”
- “What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthony Doerr is a two-time National Book Award finalist. His works include his famous The Shell Collector, About Grace, Memory Wall, Our Seasons in Rome, All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land. His writing is always whimsical and beautiful to the mind. His prose is lyrical and soft.
When someone reads this book for the first time, they will be welcomed into a space that is known for its softness. They will be welcomed into a world that is accepting and kind. Written through the eyes of young individuals, this story depicts the cruel realities of war and life in war. If you are looking for a beautiful, cry-worthy book, All the Light We Cannot See is the perfect book for you.