All the Light we cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Marie-Laure Leblanc is growing up in Paris with her dad. Marie has only been able to see for 6 years until she went blind from an eye disease named Cataracts. Her father is an employer of The Museum of Natural History in which he makes locks for precious gemstones and artifacts. Since she’s gone blind she’s having a rough time dealing with her blindness, so her father goes out and buys her some adventure novels for her birthday to keep her busy.

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These books are special because they are meant for the blind because they are written in Braille. The novels are called Jules Verne. Every day after work while Marie reads her father gets to work on making a wooden model of the part of town she lives in so she can navigate through the streets alone if needed to.

He also made special puzzles for her on her birthday to solve and it has a prize in it. As talk of the Germans taking overspread, the museum gives Marie’s father a 22k diamond named the Sea of Flames, A diamond told to have a curse that is said to give anyone who holds it a never-ending life but terrible things will happen around them. This jewel was said to be given to the God of the Sea from the God of Earth as a love offering. He and Marie-Laure have to leave their home to give the stone to an affiliate of the museum.

Sadly the man has fled to London so now her father can’t give him the Sea Of Flames, They both had to escape to her great uncle’s house in Saint-Malo, his Name is Etienne. When they got there they were greeted by Madame Manec, the housekeeper of Etienne’s house. She spoils them with food and tells Marie that Etienne has some problems with hallucinations of war so he is mostly locked up in his room not eating, moving, or making noise, so she doesn’t get to see him right away. Once they get settled in her father builds her another model of a town but this time is of Saint-Malo. He makes the interior of the model house hollow so he can fit the diamond so it would be difficult to find. Marie’s Great-uncle finally sees her and shows her a hidden radio in his attic behind a secret door. The next day germans send out papers to collect all the radios in Saint-Malo for an unknown reason, but Marie’s Great-uncle keeps the one in the attic a secret since no one else knows but them. Marie’s father is told to come back to the museum, but while on his way back he’s arrested and is sent to a prison in Germany where he is questioned.

After Marie’s father is sent to prison Madame Manic is arranging a group of women to try and resist the germans coming and liberating them, they called themselves the French Resistance. Marie wakes up one day to find that Madame has died of pneumonia. Right before she died Madame Manec took Marie to the sea every day since her dad has gone missing and tried to comfort her. She also attempted to make Maries uncle a part of the group so they could have access to his radio to send information to their allies but he declined because of the danger of being heard and tracked and putting their lives at risk, he said he couldn’t trust anyone without the same blood running through their veins. After grieving Marie and her uncle choose to carry on her efforts in her memory. Etienne takes command and he sends Marie to get the information from a a group member, Madame Ruelle who hides small slips of paper into dough of bread then bakes it, which contain information for their allies, then is transmitted via their radio system which is hidden in their attic. They find out their allies will be coming on d-day so Maries uncle tries to find the location of the Nazi’s artillery and broadcast it to their allies 

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. (2021, Jul 04). Retrieved from