2014 1st edition "First Scribner hardcover edition May 2014" stated; "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize"; Scribner publishers, New York; hardbound in dark blue and lime boards with blue lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; very small, very light stain on back dust jacket - see pic. BS164.
Won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
Set in occupied France during World War II, the novel centers on a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths eventually cross.
In 1934, six-year-old Marie-Laure LeBlanc is the daughter of a widowed master locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris whom she often accompanies to work. Marie suffered from rapidly deteriorating eyesight secondary to juvenile cataracts, becoming fully blind at the age of six. Her father enriches her environment, crafting a wooden scale-model of their actual neighborhood and supervising her so that she is eventually able to navigate independently. He uses her birthday as an opportunity to develop her sense of touch, providing increasingly intricate puzzle boxes every year. Her father provides new novels in Braille to read. She becomes interested by the imagined worlds like those that she explores in her edition of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The museum where Marie-Laure's father works as a locksmith is rumored to house the Sea of Flames, an exquisite blue diamond of immeasurable value with beautiful dancing "red flames" at its center. According to legend, however, the diamond is cursed: whoever keeps the "Sea of Flames" cannot die but their loved ones will be stricken with unending misfortunes.
Meanwhile, in Germany, eight-year-old Werner Pfennig is an orphan in the coal-mining town of Zollverein. He and his sister Jutta find a broken short-wave radio behind the children's home where they live. Werner manages to repair the radio and his natural skill for circuitry becomes apparent. He and Jutta tune in and listen to a variety of programs, including a regular broadcast from France hosted by an older gentleman who shares stories about the world of science, skillfully framed so that even younger listeners can understand.
When Germany invades France in 1940, Marie-Laure and her father flee from Paris to the coastal town of Saint-Malo...