All the Light We Cannot See – by Anthony Doerr – independent book review – Historical Fiction (World War II)

This is a difficult book to describe. It presents a handful of very “small” lives which together paint a deeply disturbing profile of World War II and its legacy. In this way, it brilliantly uses a few people to artfully tell a very big story. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.allthelight
Central in the book are two characters — a motherless blind girl living in occupied France and a German teenage boy who is singled out by the Nazis for his exceptional abilities. Though these two characters don’t physically meet until three-quarters of the way through the book, we watch their lives unfold in parallel, showing the war from both the occupied and occupier points of view.
Anthony Doerr
So then, why am I not assigning 5 stars? Purely because of the writing style. The stream-of-consciousness way in which Doerr describes what his characters are thinking became tiresome to me. Perhaps he intended by the style to give them all a sameness — but to me the style interfered in my enjoyment of the book.
I still recommend the book and urge you to finish it — particularly since the final chapters about the survivors, years after the war, are some of the most poignant.
Here’s more information about the author, Anthony Doerr.