At dust they pour from the sky.
Usually I’m not very fast with reading books from the ongoing year, definitely not those that are on lists and are nominated for prizes. They’re (too) popular in the library and the standardized blurb doesn’t really tickle me anyway.
But this was a present. And you don’t neglect a gifted book.
All The Light We Cannot See starts out as a pretty standard, nicely written, World War II story. There are good people on both sides, there are bad people on both sides.This time the main characters are a blind, French girl and a German, orphaned boy. They both experience things and grow up while the war grows worse.
The addition of a MacGuffin turn Anthony Doerr’s wonderful visuals and sweet, rounded characters, sadly enough, into something flat. Suddenly the book turns into Indiana Jones in Europe, instead of carrying on with the world-building and filling out backgrounds.
There’s nothing wrong with All The Light We Cannot See, but it could have been something epic instead of this mix-up.
All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr, Scribner 2014