“All the Light We Cannot See,” Anthony Doerr’s novel about a German boy and a French girl living during World War II, was first published this past May but is turning into one of the top sellers of the holiday season.
“Light,” which is by “The Shell Collector” writer Doerr, centers on Werner, a German boy with a talent for fixing radios who joins the Hitler Youth, and Marie-Laure, a blind girl who ends up in Saint-Malo as her country is under attack. Meanwhile, Marie-Laure may have a valuable jewel in her possession. The Monitor named the novel as one of the best works of fiction of 2014, with Monitor fiction critic Yvonne Zipp writing, “Marie-Laure, Werner, and their companions are so compelling, readers don’t need a shiny trinket to keep turning pages… [this] may be [Doerr's] best work to date.”
“Light” has stayed steadily on bestseller lists since its publication and in the months since became a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction.
Now it’s one of the bestselling titles of the holiday season. Multiple bookstores reported to industry newsletter Shelf Awareness that copies of “Light” are flying out the door. Salt Lake City’s King’s English Bookshop co-owner Anne Holman told Shelf Awareness they’re selling copies of the novel “hand over fist.”
Daniel Goldin, owner of Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company, told a similar story. “Really, Anthony Doerr is blowing everything away,” he said.