About All the Light We Cannot See:
From Anthony Doerr, among America's most highly-decorated short story writers, comes a masterpiece novel ten years in the making about World War II, blindness, children, a mythical diamond, the power of radio, Hitler Youth and the Resistance, and the ways, against all odds, we try to be good to one another.
Set during World War II, All the Light We Cannot See interweaves the lives of a young, blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and an orphaned German boy, Werner, whose paths collide as they try to survive the physical and emotional destruction of the war. When the book opens, Marie-Laure lives with her father, the lockmaster at the Museum of Natural History, in an apartment in Paris. When she becomes blind he creates a miniature model of the neighborhood, so that she can learn every house, every street corner, first with her fingers and then with her feet. As the German occupation begins, they flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast carrying with them what might be the museum's most fabled and valuable diamond and live with Marie-Laure's great-uncle in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In Germany, another world, Werner grows up an orphan with his beloved sister Jutta. A fascination with radios turns into a mastery of building and fixing the machines, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and heinously brutal military academy for Hitler Youth, and then a special assignment to track the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Nazi Germany, to Russia, and finally onto France, where his story converges with Marie-Laure's.
Anthony Doerr is the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won numerous prizes both in the US and overseas, including four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.