Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.
Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering.
At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in.
I knew it would be I'd be haunted by sadness reading a story surrounding WWII. I formed an attachment to the characters in All the Light We Cannot See which made the story all the more poignant. I think I was invested to the characters mainly because of the length of the book and the fact that it follows many years of their lives. The dangers they were facing and even activities of daily life were documented in great detail.
There was a lot of suspense in the book achieved mainly through jumps in narrative to different years. I found this a bit frustrating. The book felt a bit draggy as you're thrown from one year to the another, back again and then to the other year. You're left waiting to read about the events eventuating in each year. In my opinion, this book is better read in small parts at a time because you notice the story being dragged out more when you read large chunks in one seating.
Overall, a spectacularly moving story.