All the Light We Cannot See
By Anthony Doerr
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476746586, 531pp.)
Publication Date: May 2014
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Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.
Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" ("San Francisco Chronicle") are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, "All the Light We Cannot See" is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" ("Los Angeles Times").
Anthony Doerr was awarded the 2010 Story Prize for Memory Wall. His other books include The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. His books have been a New York Times Notable Book, an American Library Association Book of the Year, a "Book of the Year" in the Washington Post, and he has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton, and shared the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times and Der Spiegel, and he writes the “On Science” column for the Boston Globe. Doerr is the Writer-in-Residence for the state of Idaho.
The award-winning author Anthony Doerr's newest novel approaches old history with two unfamiliar perspectives: a blind French girl and a German orphan. He says WWII history is as important as ever. More at NPR.org
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