The only way I can think to describe Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See is by describing food. An odd subject to bring up since All the Light We Cannot See is not centered on delicate pastries or orgasmic entrees . Yet, food, like Doerr’s work, requires the attention of all our senses. Like images of fresh baked bread that entice more than your sense of vision, Doerr’s writing calls for more than just one sense or perspective. Talking about food demands your attention, it demands you to imagine and see whatever it is a writer is describing because it calls on all your senses. Which is why, naturally, when I want to describe Anthony Doerr’s writing, I feel compelled to talk about food. To talk about anything that calls on all your feelings. On a topic that is so enthralling, all of your attention must be focused to it.
The trouble with wanting to express how great a book is however, is finding that your words don’t do the piece in question justice. No matter how many times I talk about fresh baked bread, it will never equate to reading an entire novel. If I’m lucky I can possibly get you close to the meaning of one of the themes in Doerr’s book, but I cannot replicate the feelings or the experiences I had as I read the story of a young blind girl and an orphan boy in Hitler Youth. Words cannot express how I felt as I read through the pages, hoping to find how their lives intertwined. I cannot describe how I grew to love little Werner with his schnee hair, or how Marie-Laure talked of the ocean she had never seen.
Sometimes, words fail us……..but there is a bright side. Besides my own praise, All the Light We Cannot See has received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. On Goodreads the book has an average 4.27 rating (out of five) with over 100,000 reviews. The book was also a #1 New York Times Best Seller, and made the list for Amazon’s 2014 Best Book List.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, is a book I highly recommend. Even though I cannot begin to reach the surface with the amount of praise I have for this book, know that Doerr’s flashback style, and his seamless weaving of plot events are more than enough to keep the reader interested and waiting for more.