All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See is a wonder of language and story, a novel drenched in light set
in the dark years of World War II. By August 1944 the war has taken
its brutal toll on the citizens of France and the Germans are
desperate to hold on to the walled city of Saint-Malo on the coast of
Brittany, denying their inevitable crushing defeat. As American
bombers fly over Saint-Malo the paths and fate of Marie-Laure, a blind
French girl and Werner, a German orphan cum soldier move inexorably
toward each other. This is not a star-crossed love story, but rather
a loving treatise to the power of story, whether broadcast in the
night over borders and across languages, or a fable told from
generation to generation. This is an amazing novel.  Luminescent!"
~Cathy Langer

— Cathy is our lead buyer at Tattered Cover & a TC staffer for over 30 years. She knows her stuff!

May 2014 Indie Next List

“The French girl cannot see, but she can hear, feel, and explore the world around her like a budding naturalist. The German boy has no parents, but he teaches himself how coils of copper can receive lessons of love and learning. It's World War II, however, and the potential of thousands of children will be unrealized or thwarted. Will a mythical gemstone save them or unite them? Gorgeously written, Doerr's epic tale brings alive the beauty of two souls, their quest for learning, the turbulent times they cannot control, and the rock that mysteriously guides their fate.”
— Harriett Logan, Loganberry Books, Shaker Hts, OH


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

About the Author

Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781501173219
ISBN-10: 1501173219
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 544
Language: English