A blind French girl and a young Nazi set off on a collision course


Harrowing and heart-lifting by turns, Anthony Doerr’s masterful new novel gives history a human face and finds intimacy amid the chaos of war. In the wake of D-Day, Allied forces lay siege to Nazi-held Saint-Malo, 100 miles from the Normandy beaches. Trapped among the scattered survivors is 18-year-old Werner, a Nazi hunter of Resistance fighters. On the other side of the city is 16-year-old Marie-Laure, a blind girl who escaped Paris with her father at the beginning of the occupation. When they fled to Saint-Malo, her father, a locksmith and keeper of the keys at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, smuggled a rare diamond with a dark secret. With bombs falling all around them, the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner ultimately collide. The story is told with meticulous attention to detail, and you find yourself turning the pages, desperate to discover what happens next.

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr, $30.