All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Bee Readin'

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Hidden Women by Kerry Barrett is a historical novel that goes between present day 2018 and back to the war in 1944. The story delves into the history of the women who flew for the ATA in Britain and family secrets one woman hoped would never be uncovered.

I was pulled into this novel immediately. First I love historic novels, second, I am incredibly curious and thirdly, I am deep into genealogy, so discovering family stories really intrigues me.

The book starts in present day London 2018. Helena Miles is a young single mom who loves digging into the past and it is also her job. She works as a researcher for a hit television show “Where Do You Come From”?, and her work has her dealing with mainly celebrity families. When the handsome superstar Jack Jones blows into her life, Helena will put on a path she never saw coming. While researching Jack’s genealogy, a familiar name pops up and Helena finds herself unexpectedly sliding down a deep dark rabbit hole into her own family history.

Readers are soon transported back Berkshire, England 1944. Lillian Miles is an ATA pilot and flies every type of aircraft during the war. When her niece starts poking around, she remains quiet about the secrets she has locked deep in her soul hoping they would never be discovered.

Helena’s job has strict rules about using the company resources to research your own family, but she ignores them hoping no one will discover her digging into her own family. Jack encourages her to continue her work and helps her along the way. This too will bring Helena trouble.

When Helena brings the information to her family, her father has his own questions and wants her to continue researching. What she discovers could quite possibly destroy her family. What happened to her Aunt Lillian during the war, why won’t she talk about it and what do the answers mean for her family?

If you really enjoy historical novels, are curious about the past and family stories and genealogy, you will love this novel. I enjoyed going between present day and the past to learn Lillian’s story. The book really is about friendship, sisterhood, strong women and family secrets.

The author did an incredible job bringing the character’s to life, giving them depth and you may just find yourself sympathetic to both sides. One wanting to keep the past secret and the other needing to know the truth.

I noticed the book was published a year ago today, so happy book anniversary to Kerry Barrett for a truly wonderful novel. Even better, Amazon’s Kindle price today is .99 cents. Don’t know if it is a one day deal or the price for now, but either way, it is totally worth the buy and read.

Until next time,
Bee Readin’

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6 thoughts on “All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr”

  1. I read this book and agree 100% with what you said. It was one of the best books I’ve read in some time and one of the few that sticks with you. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got it, just that it got rave reviews. As a guy that likes books by Lee Childs (Reacher series) or Clive Cussler (Dirk Pitt) and other action type books, I wasn’t sure if this would be too tame for me. It wasn’t. It was a page turner, very well-written, and suspenseful. Not to mention educational.

    Thanks for reviewing and recommending this book!

    1. Bob, So glad you loved it too! I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect either, but from the first short chapter, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. Felt like I was there, which speaks volumes of his writing.
      Thank you for the comments and other suggestions too.

  2. Ah, Terri, I am so glad you found this a wonderful read too. It is one of my all time favourite books. Every single word is such a delight. I subsequently read everything he wrote that I could lay my hands on, and it certainly is his best work thus far, I think. Another book of his that I enjoyed is a memoir documenting a year spent in Rome writing, “Four Seasons in Rome”, during which time he has started work on “All the Light We Cannot See”. Worth checking out if you haven’t already read it.

    1. Jolandi, I agree, this is now one of my all time favorites. Thank you for the recommendation to “Four Seasons in Rome”. I will definitely put it on my list to read. It is hard to start reading something new, when I have just finished a great book that will stay me forever. Thanks for the comment and reading the blog.

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