Anthony Doerr sees the world as a scientist, but feels it as a poet. He knows about everything—radios, diamonds, mollusks, birds, flowers, locks, guns—but he also writes a line so beautiful, creates an image or scene so haunting, it makes you think forever differently about the big things—love, fear, cruelty, kindness, the countless facets of the human heart. Wildly suspenseful, structurally daring, rich in detail and soul, Doerr’s new novel is that novel, the one you savor, and ponder, and happily lose sleep over, then go around urging all your friends to read—now.
–JR Moehringer, author of The Tender Bar
The story takes place during the Nazi’s occupation of France during WWII, chronicling the randomly intersecting lives of one German boy and one French girl through wartime and beyond. Marie-Laure loses her sight at the age of six, and navigates through Paris by memorizing the perfect model of her neighborhood built for her by her father. When the Nazis eventually occupy Paris, Marie-Laure and her father flee to her reclusive great-uncle’s home by the sea.
In Germany, orphaned Werner is fascinated with how things work. When he finds a crude radio, Werner figures out how to make it work and listens clandestinely to news and programs from France. His expertise eventually earns him a place at a brutal Hitler Youth academy for adolescent boys, and he goes on to track the resistance. Werner ends up working in Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure lives with her uncle.
This novel, with its gorgeous words and clear descriptions, tells the tale of one life-defining event and its power over these young people’s character. This is a story of war, of moral complexity, of humanity, a story of moments not to be missed.
All the Light We Cannot See is the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction. It is available through the Metro Library Network in regular and large print, on CD, as an e-book or downloadable audiobook. We also have book club kits available of this title.