All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

I have just finished a novel I expect will be one of my favorites of 2014. All the Light We Cannot See, the second novel by Anthony Doerr, is an extraordinary work of fiction. Part of the wonder of this beautifully written book is that Doerr has found a fresh way of telling a story we’ve heard many times before: teenagers from opposite sides of World War II see beyond the conflict to find common ground.

doerrMarie-Laure is a blind Parisian girl who flees with her father to the walled city of Saint-Malo in 1940 before the Nazi invasion. Werner Pfennig, a German orphan with a gift for fixing radios and transmitters, attends a school for Hitler Youth and is later recruited by the Wehrmacht to help them locate and destroy the sources of illegal transmissions. The lives of these two teenagers will intersect in unexpected ways. The beauty of Doerr’s book lies not only in his gorgeous prose and many richly drawn characters but also in his ability to see the inherent decency in his protagonists. This is one of the most moving novels I have ever read.

My full review is at

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