All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is an incredibly lyrical novel with beautiful imagery and a perfect, understated tone. It describes the lives of two young people, a blind French girl and a scientifically-gifted German boy, during WWII and neatly weaves their stories together just as the fates of their two countries are forever linked. The emotions, decisions and motives of the characters are complex and layered as is this moving story. There are many, many levels of enchantment here, too many to mention, and the way they combine makes for a gorgeous, robust novel.
While you’re waiting to read All the Light We Cannot See, try one of these similarly themed novels:
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky - Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940, Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - Oct. 11th, 1943: A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper - Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom - This nonfiction history evokes with stunning precision the detail of daily life in a city under occupation, and the brave people who fought against the darkness.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer - January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb...