All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr Year Published: 2014

This is the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winning book written by a local author. This book is also a National Book Award Finalist.  Additionally, he won an award for adult fiction which appeals to young adults.  I was fortunate to hear Anthony Doerr speak about his inspiration and writing process at Meridian Middle School. It took him ten years to write the novel.  To hear how much research he did in order for it to be as historically accurate as possible, it is no wonder it took so many years.

The book is split between the narration of two characters: Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a member of Hitler’s Youth.  The timeline of the book is not linear so it starts with the siege of Saint-Malo in France during World War II, then back to Marie-Laure and Werner’s perspective childhoods, back to the war.  Back and forth. It also picks up on the narration of one or two other characters for a short time.  Nevertheless, all the characters are interwoven, and it is spellbinding unweaving all those connections.  Eventually, Marie-Laure and Werner end up in the same French town.  But that is all I can say because you need to read it for yourself.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  It took me three days over Winter Break to read this.