All The Light We Cannot See follows the complex narratives of two children living in Europe in the years leading up to WWII. Werner Pfennig is a sensitive, perceptive German orphan with a knack for building and repairing radios. Marie-Laure Leblanc is a young Parisian who is losing her vision at the same time she is falling in love with learning. The parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure are told in brief chapters within alternating storylines that jump back and forth in time. Their stories converge in Saint-Malo, as France is overtaken by the Allies. In some ways, this is a classic coming-of-age tale. While parts of the story feel familiar, Doerr carefully sidesteps sentimentality and melodrama by focusing on the intricate architecture of radio broadcasting. In the end, this poignant novel illuminates the connections that give life meaning in the context of countless moral ambiguities. Moving and well-written, All The Light We Cannot See leaves the reader with much to contemplate.
A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.