Must Have 2015 Pulitzer Prizes Winner All the Light We Cannot See

Did you know about the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr? It's about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is an interesting and imaginative book about a boy, an orphan, growing up in Germany in the '20-'30-'40s. The story brought you into the years just prior and throughout WWII, from the perspective of a young blind French girl and a an orphan German boy.

Doerr, returns to the world of a blind person enamored with shells, as in his book, The Shell Collectors. This time, he writes about a young girl, Marie-Laure, with early onset blindness living in Paris during the German occupation with her devoted father. Verner is a young boy living with his little sister in an orphanage in Germany close to the mines that claimed their father’s life. At the young age of 12, he is taken away from the orphanage and his sister and is enrolled in a cadet training school run by sadistic Nazis. He has been singled out because of his genius with radio equipment so critical to the German war effort and he soon finds himself on the battlefield.

In All the Light We Cannot See you hear and feel the madness and the hate, the government systematically teaching hatred of Jews and of anyone not matching some type of Germanic ideal, blond, strong fearsome and obedient and able to regard some people as if they were viruses that must be eradicated for the world to be pure. A slight but very white blond German boy, with a genius for electronics, especially radios, is selected for an elite military academy.

Amidst the horrors of WWII, Anthony Doerr manages to find tenderness and beauty. His short chapters volley back and forth between the lives of these two stoic and determined young people and the challenges they confront as Marie-Laure becomes separated from her father and Verner begins to question the morality and heartless actions of the commanders controlling his life. Doerr carefully documents the threads of their lives and manages to neatly tie them together by the end of the book.

All the Light We Cannot See is a wonderful read, interesting, intelligently written. Anthony Doerr knows much about many studies and writes well about people, nature, stones, history plus much more. This books teaches and entertains.