I hadn’t seen this book on the shelf at the library for ages; the reservation list was (and still is) absolutely huge! For good reason. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2015) and Carnegie medal for fiction, it was well worth the two month wait. All the light we cannot see is an absolute gem.
Set in World War II, the story follows the fate of two characters: a young, Parisian blind girl called Marie-Laure and a German orphan called Warner. At the outbreak of war, Marie-Laure and her father, a locksmith at the Museum of Natural History, are forced to flee from the now Nazi occupied Paris to Saint-Milo. Werner is enlisted in the Hitler youth, pumped full of propaganda and sent on a quest to utilise his gift of fixing broken radios to search for illegal broadcasts. Inevitably, the two stories collide.
The language is beautiful, everything is perfectly put together. I love how the story flits back and forth in time, slowly filling in gaps and keeping you on the edge of your seat. I loved seeing the war from two very different perspectives- the invaded and the invaders- it was packed full of detail (but not heavy) and felt very realistic. I came out of it feeling much better informed and very sad. I also loved the story of the missing gemstone (I’m not going to write any more about this for fear of spoilers) which I felt brought everything together nicely.
I absolutely adored this book.