Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See

Featuring guest Jessica Sheffield '18.

Theo Prineas, Reporter

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Below is a quick summary of the plot – SPOILER ALERT!

All the Light we Cannot See takes place during WWII in Northern France. In other words, it’s Nazi occupied. The book switches between two narratives: Marie Laure LeBlanc, a young blind girl who lives with her locksmith father in a museum. The other narrative follows Werner Pfennig, a young Nazi soldier. The book has four parts. One of the four parts begins with Marie Laure living happily, until the Nazis come. In the museum in which her father works, there is a great plot driving macguffin – a magical crystal that grants immortality to the bearer, but kills everyone and everything dear to them. Of course, the museum wants to keep this crystal from the Nazis, so they give it to Marie Laure’s father to run away with. They still end up in a Nazi occupied zone, but the crystal is safe there. They hide in Marie Laure’s great uncle’s house. He’s a WWI vet.

One part with Werner is his childhood; he lives in a French orphanage in Germany, so he speaks both languages fluently (conveniently). A Nazi soldier notices his amazing skills with the radio, and recruits him to the army. He goes through a training school, which is practically an institute for Hitler to breed Aryans. There, he’s trained in combat techniques, etc., and then is sent to the front. In what happens to be in the very same city as Marie Laure. His job is to track down protesters via tracking their radios, most of which were confiscated by the Nazis.

Read it to find out more. And listen to the podcast.