All the Light We Cannot See (Paperback)

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This epic tale of WWII culminating in the battle for Saint-Malo focuses on two unusual characters.   Marie Laure is the blind daughter of the keeper of the keys for the Museum of Natural History in Paris.  Werner is an exceptionally bright German orphan with a natural talent for science, in particular radios (a very helpful trait during wartime). 

Marie Laure’s father constructs a model city of their neighborhood, every storm drain, doorway, and tree represented, to help his daughter feel her surroundings.   Rumors of war become reality, German soldiers taking over France.  Marie Laure and her father make a perilous journey, retreating to the home of their uncle in Saint-Malo. 

Werner and his sister Jutta grow up in an orphanage.  Werner’s ability to fix just about everything electronic, and his amazing ability with radios, soon comes to the attention of the German hierarchy, earning him a place in a prestigious school.  Werner wants only to learn, to do something important with that knowledge, to be more than a poor orphan.  He is seduced by the rare opportunity of attending the academy. As he tries to fit in, he finds himself a party to actions beyond his control that taint his soul.  His sister Jutta is an early dissenter of the Third Reich.  She listens to forbidden radio programs, learns of the atrocities being committed, and is appalled.  

Werner and Marie Laure’s stories will converge in a way neither could have anticipated.  I liked the way the story is told through the view so these two main protagonists.  Werner is a likeable kid, bright and eager.  The way the Nazi regime subsumes his good nature, is chilling.  Marie Laure is an intrepid girl, forced by circumstances to bravery.  This is an innovative, thought provoking, deeply moving way to tell the story of WWII. 

— Deon Stonehouse

May 2014 Indie Next List

“The French girl cannot see, but she can hear, feel, and explore the world around her like a budding naturalist. The German boy has no parents, but he teaches himself how coils of copper can receive lessons of love and learning. It's World War II, however, and the potential of thousands of children will be unrealized or thwarted. Will a mythical gemstone save them or unite them? Gorgeously written, Doerr's epic tale brings alive the beauty of two souls, their quest for learning, the turbulent times they cannot control, and the rock that mysteriously guides their fate.”
— Harriett Logan, Loganberry Books, Shaker Hts, OH

Product Details
ISBN: 9787508653167
ISBN-10: 7508653165
Publisher: Zhong Xin Chu Ban She/ Tsai Fong Books
Publication Date: August 1st, 2015
Pages: 503
Language: Chinese