Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Revolution” as Want to Read:
And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Revolution
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Revolution

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,113 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
Critically acclaimed and the winner of numerous awards — including USA Today’s 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Century — And There Was Light is a vivid, inspiring account of an extraordinary man’s life without sight. Blinded at the age of eight by a freak accident, Jacques Lusseyran becomes a youth leader in the French Resistance during World War II. While still in his tee ...more
Audio CD
Published October 28th 2007 by Morning Light Press (first published September 1st 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about And There Was Light, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about And There Was Light

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Carolyn Jourdan
Dec 16, 2008 Carolyn Jourdan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An astonishing book. I was so moved by this man's life that I researched until I found someone who knew him to ask what it was like to be around him. I was told that when one met Jacques Lusseyran they felt they were being fully seen...for the first time...maybe the only time in their life.
Nov 26, 2012 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Phil by: John Manley
I was deeply affected by "And There Was Light," the astonishing autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, who, though blinded at age eight, was a leader of the French Resistance in World War II.

A turning point in Lusseyran’s life was his miraculous return from the dead in Buchenwald, a notorious German concentration camp. It was his sickness that rescued him and bestowed the grace of continuous joy. His experience is so profound that it is difficult to fully appreciate the transformation he underwent—
Bev Walkling
This is a difficult book to classify as being of any one genre as it really covers many, but how one would rate it would depend in part on what one was expecting at the outset.It took me just over two weeks to finish reading it which is an unusually lengthy time for me. The author was blinded in an accident at the age of 8 and most of the first 40% of the book is his memoir of how he lived and flourished through that experience and his early teen years. As a person who has my own struggles with ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to give this book a 5 star because of the wow factor his life was, rather than because it is a page turner or exceptionally well written.

It took me almost 2 weeks to read...unheard of for me. However, to appreciate what he is trying to get across to you, you have to take it slow and soak it up. The beginning of the book is the hardest/slowest to get through as he talks about adjusting and living with no 'sight', a truly foreign thought for us. One that even the best imagination would
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Almost every reviewer I know has something they love reading about and I am no exception. Historic fiction, steampunk, alternative history, nonfiction - it doesn't matter. If it relates to WWII, I'm there. Hence my interest in Jacques Lusseyran's And There Was Light.

The book itself is a memoir, but a memoir of the man, not his time with the French Resistance. Personally, I felt Lusseyran's war effort represented the weakest
Mar 23, 2011 Nicholeen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What does it really mean to see? This book lets you know. It helps you better understand those spiritual feelings which direct us much better. What an inspiring man!
Mar 30, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it difficult to believe at first that this man was a leader in the Resistance during WWII as a teenager - a blind teenager. After getting to know him by reading his autobiography, however, I can readily see how he accomplished this (and more). Some people, by virtue of their character & inborn traits, are natural leaders. Jacquess Lusseyran was obviously a born leader.

There is much to learn about hope, life, strength, survival, courage, and humanity from this book and I am definetly
Dec 12, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that has the potential to be life-changing. Not only is Lusseyran just a small boy when he forms and leads one of the greatest underground resistance movements in France during WWII, he is blind. It is because of his blindness that he is so successful, he knows how to read people, to sense them and their intentions. He can "see" the light they give off, or radiate and it speaks to their character and their soul. Fascinating book about the beauty of childhood and unfort ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, nonfiction
In his epilogue the author shares his purpose in writing this memoir -- "to show, if only in part, what these years held of life, light and joy by the grace of God." Following are some passages I noted, either for their impact or for purposes of better understanding terms and vocabulary. I should explain that at the age of eight the author was blinded in an accident, and found that still he could sense light, both inside him and outside him. The following notes describe how and when he lost that ...more
What an amazing book. This is every bit as inspiring and significant as Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning. I truly believe in the force of light as described in this book. I have felt the present of objects around me as the author describes. I do know that joy come from searching for the light which then becomes you or which as he states is already a part of you. I know that there is light within you that recognizes the light of others. I have felt it. It is the basis of the power o ...more

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.

This the story of Jacques Lusseyran who became blind in a school accident when he was eight-year old.

With the advent of World War II, he founded with 52 other boys a Resistance group called "Volunteers of Liberty." He was by then seventeen-year old.

Due to his blindness, he was in charge of the recruitment of new volunteers to this group. This group grew up and was named later on as "Defense
Devin Anderson
Feb 17, 2015 Devin Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was about Jacques. A blind man who fought in the resistance during WW2. No. This book was about Jacques. A man who went blind when he was 8 years old but saw color (rainbows) and people everywhere he went. Nothing phased him. He knew everything instinctively. Everyone loved him. Everyone trusted him. Everyone always wanted him around. He was in charge of everything. He never lost hope or joy. Now, all of that is good except that I don't believe that a person could go through ...more
Darcy Briggs
What I loved most about this book was Jacques's powerful testimony of God through his whole life. He was always grateful & respectful of God's influence in his life.
Next, I loved getting the perspective from an occupied country during WWII. It was good to understand what life was like for those countries taken over by Germany & Hitler's reign.
Additionally, Lusseyran gave such a vivid account of blindness that you almost want the opportunity to be blind to experience life with the intima
Oct 08, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating autobiography. The author was in an accident at school that left him blind shortly before his eighth birthday. In many ways he was able to see more once he was blind than before, provided he was free from feelings of fear or selfishness.

"Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ." (Moroni 7:19
I hate it when I start a book and don't finish it but I just couldn't get into this one. It's an amazing story about a blind Frenchman during WWII. My problem is his style of writing. He describes every teeny tiny detail in a way that doesn't make any sense to me. I want to read his story, but I wish it was written by someone else.
Jun 18, 2015 Madonna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very touching. Amazing story of a selfless man in a concentration camp and blind at that. The light is within each of us, our happiness comes from giving of ourselves.
Jennifer Eckel
Via NetGallery. Wow Amazing! I picked up this book as a WWII memoir. I didn't know it was voted one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books. Ever. I can see why. In this story of his early life Lusseyran speaks of being infused with amazing light. Both the light of life and love, and the Light that comes from within. This story which covers his early life tells the story of how he was blinded, his impressive education, and his resistance against the Nazis and his survival (a blindman!) in the concentrat ...more
Jana Hill
Aug 25, 2012 Jana Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book did take me awhile to get through, but really any non-fiction book takes a little more effort for me. Overall, it was a wonderful book. I loved the way he describes how he is able to "see" despite being blind. I also loved learning more about the French occupation during WWII and his involvement in the Resistance. But my favorite things in the book were his insights to life in general, it was really inspirational.

A few quotes I enjoyed:

"God is neither a German nor a Russian nor a Fren
Feb 24, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
A fascinating reminder of what we are capable of if we look for the possibilities that exist all around us. Lusseyran managed to create such a rich life for himself and must have been a truly commanding presence, since all of his friends assumed he would take the lead in everything they did, although he was blind. His description of people and places is so complete it is hard to realize that he never actually saw them. I was particularly fascinated by his brief discussion of character as reveale ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating account of one of the leaders of the resistance during the Nazi invasion of France. What makes this account interesting is that he is a blind man. His writing is beautiful and by the end of the book you feel like you're really 'in his head'. This book gave me a true sense of what it would be like to be blind. The middle of the book is a little slow...more detail than is necessary. And it feels a little anti-climatic because you've read most of the book before he actually ge ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Jann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there was a 3 1/2 star rating, this book would have gotten it. I don't like to water-down my ratings by easily handing out 4 and 5 star ratings, so I had to choose a 3. This really was a very interesting book; and I absolutely LOVE reading about "ordinary" people who became heros (especially during WWII). But, I felt the author could have struck a better balance between describing his incredible experiences and sharing his thoughts and feelings. I felt that some of his detailed decriptions in ...more
Jacques Lusseyran is an amazing guy but I guess I expected something different from this, more of a history memoir. It is a first person account but it's more of reflection piece with narrative than a chronicle. The first third is about how he learned to live with being blind and the heightened senses (other than sight) and spiritual sense that it gave him. It was a very interesting look at how a blind person adapts (he wasn't born blind) and "sees" the world. And I'm amazed that he managed to s ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is now 2009, and I just finished reading this book that I started in the Fall. It was such a fabulous book that I really wanted to go through it slowly and get as much in of Jacques' world and understanding as I could. Of course, I will read this book again and learn new things, but he was an incredible person. I learned the importance of how and why we need to be educated; I learned why physical exercise is important - it changed my current perception of it; I was inspired overall by Jacques ...more
Nov 13, 2015 Vgathright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book! I love inspirational autobiographies and this one did not disappoint. I had a hard time really understanding the author's description of life with blindness. I don't know if that is because of language barrier, or that it's something very difficult to understand if one doesn't experience it. It made me long for the "inner life" he enjoyed. I loved his candid, and open description of his experiences, and feelings about adjusting to blindness, living in Paris during the occupation ...more
Jun 08, 2016 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pour moi, un livre est bon lorsqu'il me donne le sentiment d'avoir véritablement connu l'auteur et que voir la fin arriver me rend triste. Ceci était le cas avec ce livre de Jacques Lusseyran. Cette autobiographie démontre le pouvoir incroyable de transformer un handicap en un outil de vie et dans ce cas, à travers des situations atroces, tel qu'on le verrait dans un camp de concentration. Si quelqu'un aurait besoin de se faire rappeller l'importance de voir dans ses difficultés des opportunités ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Jacques is probably the most interesting person I've ever read about. What I wouldn't give to read a good biography on him. This is his autobiography about the first 21 years of his life. Because he is blind, his world view is different-- he details his inner landscape and leaves me wondering about the exterior. At times the information deserved a 5 rating... It gets a three because at times it was a bit slow, and as a seeing person, it is hard for me to stay in his inner landscape for so long. ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about a blind person never letting their lack of sight affect their life. Lusseyran was a french resistance fighter/organizer during WWII who was eventually betrayed and sent to a concentration camp. He survived all of it. He has a very mystical view of life, religion and his lack of sight. This is worth reading although it definitely left me wishing they'd added a forward with more about his post war life. The book certainly left me wanting to know more about Lusseyran.
Feb 28, 2015 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Interesting autobio of Jacques Lusseyran, WWII activist hero of the French Underground movement. Blinded in childhood, his formulation of anti-Nazi cells for the underground produced many life-saving heroic actions. He was one of the few major activists to survive incarceration in a concentration camp for years, until being freed by the Allies. His blindness both helped (who would suspect a blind man?) and hindered his brave actions. A true hero, he loved the light in all forms.
Jun 01, 2015 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing memoir of the powerful resource we have from the Source of Light. Lusseyran, though blind, could see better than most people because he had to keep himself well-aligned with his spiritual power in order to see light. He was extremely aware of his "inner world" and thus saw things very clearly--things like who to trust, how to help people, exactly how to run the French resistance movement, how to increase morale when things were bleak.
Jul 08, 2011 Jodyjarvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not quite what I was expecting, this was a fascinating read. A young man gone blind at a young age, becomes a leader in the French Resistance during WWII. Through all his trials in life, he still remains positive. If you feel like you have reason to complain about the trials in your life, read this book for a good reality check.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Club Questions 2 3 Apr 12, 2016 01:05PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Updating primary edition for a deceased author 2 25 Mar 24, 2014 05:44PM  
  • Yearning for the Living God: Reflections from the Life of F. Enzio Busche
  • Survival in the Shadows: Seven Jews Hidden in Hitler's Berlin
  • Tail Gunner
  • We Were Not Alone: How an LDS Family Survived World War II Berlin
  • A Distant Prayer
  • Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians (Volume One)
  • The Real George Washington
  • Fire in the Bones: William Tyndale – Martyr, Father of the English Bible
  • The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution
  • As I Have Loved You
  • Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens
  • The Freedom Factor
  • I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail
  • The Great Little Madison
  • Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves
  • Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today's Competing Worldviews
  • Helga: Growing Up in Hitler's Germany
  • The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers

Share This Book

“Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colors. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well… Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of us…I could light myself…that is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting… God is there under a form that has the good luck to be neither religious, not intellectual, nor sentimental, but quite simply alive.” 24 likes
“I could no longer afford to be jealous or unfriendly, because, as soon as I was, a bandage came down over my eyes, and I was bound hand and foot and cast aside. All at once a black hole opened, and I was helpless inside it. But when I was happy and serene, approached people with confidence and thought well of them, I was rewarded with light.” 9 likes
More quotes…