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The Bibliophiliac’s Corner: All the Light We Cannot See

The Connection writer Amanda Merriman admits she is hopelessly addicted to books.  It has been this way nearly all her life.  Every month she will share what she has been reading with the hope that others will share in her obsession.

For the month of February, this bibliophiliac chose another book in the genre of historical fiction.  “All the Light We Cannot See,” written by Anthony Doerr, is set in World War II and is centered around two children on opposite sides of the war and a mysterious diamond that affects their fates.  

One of the children is Marie-Laure, who lives in France with her father and loses her eyesight as a young girl.  Marie-Laure and her father flee from the occupation of Paris and take tenuous refuge in Saint-Malo, a port city in northwest France on the English Channel.  On the other side of the war is young Werner, an orphan doomed to work in the mines were it not for his innate knack for repairing radios and understanding of trigonometry.  (On a quirky side note, “Werner’s Formulas” are used in trigonometry.)  Doerr brings the trajectory of Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives together in a way that feels fresh and mesmerizing to the reader.  

All the Light We Cannot See is definitely not a run-of-the-mill war novel.  Doerr reminds us that despite what side of a conflict people are on (due to geography, philosophy, etc.), as a whole, humanity is innately good and people desire connection with others.  On the other hand, Doerr also demonstrates how easily a person can become numb and allow unspeakable acts of violence. Through reading this novel we are reminded that in life there are many stories within stories.  Doerr gets readers wondering about what other experiences are yet unknown in this particular time in history.  After reading All the Light We Cannot See, you will likely understand why this novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015.

Fellow bibliophiles and book club members, feel free to join in the dialogue.  Blog your thoughts and feedback at and enter the keyword “bibliophiliac” in the search bar.  Have you read a great book recently?   Don’t keep that juicy tidbit all to yourself.  Email your find to



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