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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“I loved everything about this book – it is my favourite BookBubbles book so far. It is beautifully constructed, sensitively written and the plot develops in ways you expect but still you don’t imagine. The threads are delicately woven together,  and as they develop, the themes of goodness, relationships, motivations, cruelty, conscience, self-interest, courage and love are effortlessly explored. It shines a light on the brutality of war, the cruelty of which humans are capable, yet the good that can shine through in small ways. Emotional but not sentimental, sadly realistic as opposed to romanticised.  I will be reading other books by Doerr!”

“I very much liked this book. It’s very well written and handles difficult subjects well. I liked the themes of light and what you can and cannot see – looking for the good in everyone; turning a blind eye to the right thing to do; dangerous, selective blindness; physical blindness; radio waves. Loved the way the idea of triangulation was also mirrored in Marie-Laure’s world and movements. The characters are vivid and believable and I found it very atmospheric. The changes from one time period and setting to another were managed well. It’a book that made me think. I read it on my Kindle and I now want to own a print copy for my bookcase.”

“Beautifully written but I didn’t get on with it as well as I expected to. It had all the ingredients of a beautiful book. I liked the characters but I found the changing of settings and time periods difficult, the characters were well developed ,and there is lots to appreciate so not really sure why I didn’t enjoy it more. I did get into it more in the last third of the book and I did care about what happened.  I went straight on to this after finishing The Humans, so perhaps should have had a bit of a break as they are so different. I read it on a Kindle so may have had a different response if I had read it  in print.”

“I struggled to get started and it was slow to warm up for me, but I then really enjoyed it. The characters were really believable and I felt very stressed for Marie-Laure at certain points although I did find Volkheimer a little annoying. The storyline was intriguing. I found the changes of time and setting fine as I settled in to the rhythm of the book.”

“I really loved it. What I liked most was the drawing of all the characters as they were all very believable. For me it was about finding the light within – how do you do the right thing?  What stops you doing the wrong thing? The descriptions of the museum, the house, the models, the uncle’s room were beautiful and vivid. Loved the small acts of resistance. I thought the chapters were very well arranged. I will read this again. Beautifully written.”

“Completely agree with everything others have already said. I loved the fact it wasn’t too sentimental too. I enjoyed the gentleness of the prose and the time and setting changes didn’t bother me. It was a very immersive read for me. It’s horrific how easily led we can be, and how brutally we can behave. Not sure it needed the last section of bringing us up to date though.”

Overall: 8.6

Range: 6.5 – 10

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