The Eye Book Club: All The Light We Cannot See

By JohnLuke Eicher ‘23

This week’s book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Hello and welcome to the first edition of the Eye’s book review. This week, we will be discussing All the Light We Cannot See, a common summer reading book here at St. Ignatius. NOTE: We will be discussing major plot events so if you haven’t read it, avoid the spoiler review. NOTE PART 2: Anthony Doerr will be going to the Cuyahoga County Public Libraries in May.

Non-spoiler Review: All the Light We Cannot See is about two teenagers intertwined by fate, set in the background of Vichy France. The outstanding characteristic of this book is, by far, its emotional draw. It captivates the mind with its complex characters and elegant writing style. If you can get past the lengthy page count, All the Light We Cannot See will be a greatly enjoyable reading experience. I give this book 4/5 stars.

Spoiler Review: All the Light We Cannot See (ALWCS) is an intriguing book. The story of a blind girl and German prodigy set during WWII is going to pique the attention of anyone interested in history. Where ALWCS really stands out is its emotional depth. When I first read about the death of Werner, I was driven to audibly exclaim my frustration with the book. And the scene where Marie Laure meets up with Etienne and they discuss going to Paris resolved such a pivotal crisis of their futures. Speaking of futures, Doerr’s use of time in the book allowed for it to not only deepen interest from readers, but also provide context to the actions of the characters. His premier use of time is the last few chapters, which provide closure to the deep emotional items that Doerr has created, are interesting because they don’t give a happy ending to many of the characters. In my opinion, only Jutta and Marie-Laure have happy endings, as everyone else devolves from the war or is stuck in it. This puzzled me, but the more I reflected on it, the more appreciative I was for it. I rate All the Light We Cannot See 4/5 stars.