All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr This is one the first non-dystopian/fantasy books that I’ve read in quite some time, and I am glad that Net Galley recommended it!

It took me a minute to get into this book. It switched POVs and goes back and forth in time. The way the book is separated by dates and goes back and forth is a little confusing at first. At times, I had to go back and look at the dates to try to figure out “was this before or after this?”

However, once I got better acquainted with the characters and a feel for the timelines, I got really interested in the story.

I love the way the recording is incorporated throughout the book! It is one good thing that ties Werner and Jutta to Etienne and Marie-Laure. Although I would have like a couple of other things to be revealed at the end, I love that Marie-Laure tells Jutta that she will mail the remaining recording of her grandfather’s, so that she can play it for Max. Just as Marie-Laure read the books from her childhood that she loved so much to her daughter, and her daughter to her grandson; Jutta will be able to share a fond memory of her childhood with her son.

I wanted Marie-Laure to tell Jutta that Werner saved her life, though! Upon first meeting Marie-Laure, Jutta asks if Werner took the model house from her and says, “It was not very easy to be good then.” I wanted so badly for Marie-Laure to explain how Werner saved her life several times! Instead, she says simply says “no,” that he did not take the model house from her and implies that they were friendly with each other by saying that they spent part of a day together and his hands were smaller than hers.

I loved that Werner met and saved Marie-Laure, but I hated that he died shortly after. Oh, how I was rooting for him to survive, find her, fall in love and live happily ever after!

Also, I am still very curious of the whereabouts of the Sea of Flames. However, I think that was the author’s intentions.

The character development in this book was amazing! I loved Etienne and Marie-Laure’s father, and Madam Manec! And Werner, and Jutta, and Frederick, and even Volkheimer!

I cannot say enough good things about this book. For this, I am thankful to NetGalley for getting me out of my strictly dystopian/fantasy phase. I think that being used to those stories wrapping up everything nice and neat in the end is why I was a little disappointed at first with the ending of this book.

For a book about WWII to be wrapped up nice and neat would make it completely unrealistic. However, I liked that the end of the book went past the end of the war and told of some of the characters later in life. Because, in reality, people die during wars, but for the people that live, life must go on. The book captured that well. Although the characters that survived the war had horrific memories, they all knew that they could not let those memories rule their lives. They knew that they must continue living and make new memories in a country rebuilding after an atrocity.

This book has encouraged me to find other books based on WWII told from unique POVs. I only hope that I can find some that are as well-written and gripping as this one!