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In Review: All The Light We Cannot See

By: Munmun Mohanty

We asked Munmun to describe herself in fewest words possible and this is what she comes out with- witty, a tinge of nerdy and a whole lot humorous. In her own words, she is:

Mother Of Kindle.Godmother of Hard Covers. Foster Mom of Paperbacks. I read Prologues after I have finished the story.

As she reviews Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See, let us take a look between the pages along with her. 


Marie Laure is a 6-year-old girl who lives in Paris with her Papa who works at a Museum. She goes completely blind but her beautiful life seems more fulfilling with her papa making arrangements for her to learn and thrive. Marie-Laure’s father also creates ingenious puzzles and miniatures — of the streets and houses of Paris to enable her to learn to navigate. Life was very normal until bigger forces started to take shape.

Werner Pfennig was an orphan who lived with his sister Jutta in the mining town of Germany. Life seldom seemed bright to him and his eyes were set on a different world where to him, opportunities were endless. It is this curiosity and a penchant for science that brings in to the notice of the Nazis and in a turn of events he is enrolled for a program under the third Reich.

Two different countries. Two parallel lives growing into adulthood find themselves face to face under the most heinous phase of history. The brief encounter and everything else that builds up to this is a story that you will refuse to put down. The amount of detail that Anthony Doerr has put it will make you visualize that piece of history. The war brought so many lives under a fable that you will not forget any sooner. You deserve to know how the Sea of flames has been beautifully metaphorized to bring out the essence of the characters. You will keep turning the pages because as you move ahead you will feel as if you deserve to know what happened to Frederick, to Jutta, to Etienne, to Von Rumpel to Marie’s Papa and to the Diamond.

If you want that fine balance between fiction and little snippets of non-fiction acting as a supporting role to enhance the story, this is the book for you. I think the author just manages to hypnotize you into the novel and you are bound to finish it and then regret that it got over so soon. You would wish it lingered a little longer.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — About The Author Well, she has practically said everything about herself in the introduction. Munmun is currently the SCC of Brandwagon: The Marketing Club at IIFT and spins tales when she takes a break from the world. Follow her on Instagram: @ink_and_shelf

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