“All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Her uncle seems almost a child, monastic in the modesty of his needs and wholly independent of any sort of temporal obligations. And yet she can tell he is visited by fears so immense, so multiple, that she can almost feel the terror pulsing inside him. As though some beast breathes all the time at the windowpanes of his mind.

I love this quote! So beautifully written.

All The Light We Cannot See is a historical fiction by Anthony Doerr, and follows two very different main characters (and several minor ones) on their journeys. Blurb of the book:

Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world  is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.



  • Writing quality: 5/5
  • Plot movement: 4.5/5
  • Plot strength: 4/5
  • Characters: 4.5/5 – Although I loved the character development and how rich the characters were, I didn’t seem completely invested in their stories.
  • Enjoyability: 4.5/5
  • Ease of reading: 4/5
  • Thought-provoking: 5/5
  • Merit and originality: 5/5
  • Overall love: 9.5/10


The book is so saturated with life, and emotion. It really is like you are there. You can imagine exactly what the characters are not only feeling but seeing and smelling and hearing as well.

What is blindness?

Go where intuition takes you.

The writing is so beautiful, it has a haunting, poetic tone in parts, and that was fabulous. The story was fascinating, it flowed so perfectly, leaving small plot holes as it was woven, then as it released more about the backstories of characters, and introduced new characters, all the tiny plot holes were filled with colour to create a fantastic tapestry.

You cannot destroy a monster without becoming one yourself.

I loved how we watched the characters grow throughout the book. They started off as just slates, and Anthony Doerr painted them in many colours throughout the plot.

The air swarms with so much that is invisible!

Sometimes the eye of the hurricane is the safest place to be.

Although this is in retrospect a depressing book, it is also uplifting. The character’s actions were heroic, but they were relatable. Anthony Doerr was hugely successful in portraying the life of a blind girl, and when I read her chapters, I could truly imagine what she was experiencing, which in itself is a huge achievement.

So many windows are dark. It’s as if the city has become a library of books in an unknown language, he houses great shelves of illegible volumes, the lamps all extinguished.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. The praise it gets is completely justified, I think this is a must-read for all you readers, especially historical fiction lovers, though I believe anyone could get something out of this book. Definitely on my list of favourite books of this year at least, if not, of all time.

He sees what other people don’t.


Comment below on your thoughts! Also, feel free to recommend some of your favourites. Are there any book which you would like me to review?

Thank you for reading!

– Catriona x


4 thoughts on ““All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

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