In need of some reading inspiration? The ‘My Favourite…’ series is a new weekly feature in which I will be putting the spotlight on some of my favourite books of all time! This week, I will be sharing my favourite book club book:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
So this year I started going to a local book club, which is a fantastic way to surround yourself with people who share a love of books and can give you really high-quality personal recommendations. My to-read list has grown so much it’s beginning to look a bit overwhelming! The idea of a book club may sound a bit nerdy, but when it introduces you to gems like ‘All the Light We Cannot See’… what more is there to say?
Seven Reasons Why I Love This Book
Anthony Doerr’s heartfelt, sensitive prose feels like a new and purified form of language. If words were drugs, this book would be the most coveted and exhilarating high of them all.
All the Light We Cannot See? What has that got to do with France in World War Two? I love it when a book’s title slowly unravels and reveals itself as you read further. This one is enough to give you a sigh of satisfaction.
The main characters of Werner and Marie-Laure are richly imagined, but they are not the only masterpieces. Every character in the novel feels so real that it is hard to believe they never actually existed. None give the sense of being created just to make a point – they are presented to us simply as human beings.
This book made me question what I thought I knew about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people in history. Werner is one of the most sensitive characters; he is also a member of the Hitler Youth. Watching him struggle to reconcile his ambitions with his conscience is both moving and thought-provoking.
5. Clever intertwining of two plots
The two main characters do not meet until the final chapters, becoming enticingly closer to each other as the story progresses. The way in which their lives are connected is seamless and wonderfully surprising.
6. Restores faith in the world
You only have to switch on the news recently to become convinced of all the evil there is in the world. But, despite being set in World War Two, there is something essentially good at the core of this book. It is bursting with beautiful and irrepressible humanity.
I am completely unashamed to admit that this novel made me cry. A rare thing nowadays, when sneaking quick 10 minute reading bursts into the busyness of everyday life means I am rarely able to emotionally invest myself in a story to such extent. It is testament to the power of All the Light We Cannot See, a very special book with poignant echoes that will stay with me indefinitely.
Cover image courtesy of Goodreads.
If you were also enchanted by ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ here are some other historical fiction titles you may enjoy:
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Have you read All the Light We Cannot See? Any other suggestions for amazing book club books? Please do share in the comments!