Michelle Isenhoff

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, 2014

Continuing my Top Four Historical Fiction Pics of 2016…
all-the-lightThis one falls squarely in the young adult category, though it is quite appealing to older readers. Obviously. Look at the litany of awards it won:

  • Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
  • 2015 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
  • Winner of the Australian International Book Award
  • Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award
  • Runner-up for 2015 the Dayton Literary Peace Prize,
  • And a top 2014 pick at just about every other list in the world

I’m going to borrow the official blurb…
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
It’s fabulous reading, but not my top pick. Tune in next time for my favorite historical fiction read of 2016.
Grab All the Light We Cannot See from Amazon.

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, 2014

6 thoughts on “All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, 2014

  1. Funny, I had not even thought of this book as YA. I guess the best ones are the crossovers, eh? I read this in 2015, and put it down as my favorite novel of that year, of all genres. (Granted, I don’t read as many books as you do.) Brilliantly written, so cinematic. Wonder if it’ll be a movie?

  2. I read this book about 18 months ago. Hadn’t thought about it as a young adult. Very complex read. Memorable characters and an unusual plot. It was an excellent read, but I enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale” even more.

    1. It was a bit of a challenge choosing between them, actually. The emotion of Hannah’s title got me, but I think it was the complexity you mention and the incredible imagery that won me over.

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