Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
If you enjoyed the montage of courage and challenges in All the Light We Cannot See, take a peek at these lovely indie tales:
Protecting Page by Deby Eisenberg
It is the still innocent year of 1962, and twelve-year-old Paige Noble awakens in a hospital room in Chicago. She has no memory of the random act of gang violence that has left her injured and orphaned. As she waits for her uncle to come for her, she develops a bond with a nurse’s aide, unaware that her son was involved in the crime.
Soon, the charismatic Maxwell Noble, a celebrated photographer, is located in Europe and rushes to her side. Although he has led a globetrotting bachelor life, he surprises Paige by embracing his new responsibility. But Maxwell struggles to hide his long-time obsession with Paige’s mother, his enchanting French sister-in-law. When Paige discovers her mother’s hidden diary, the secrets of the past begin to surface.
A beautiful and moving story about a young girl’s coming-of-age and a man’s quest for a lost love, Protecting Paige combines family drama and fascinating historical detail to create a rich, thought-provoking world.
Rope and Bone by Ginnah Howard
Rope & Bone traces the parallel, and eventually interwoven, lives of two very different women whose courage, originality and humor will carry them through the darkest of times and the toughest things that life can sling at them.
Spanning the years from 1946 to 1993, the novel opens in 1984 on Chicken Farm Road when Del Merrick, an art teacher living without plumbing or electricity, enlists help in changing a flat tire from Carla Morletti, a member of the Pagan Biker’s auxiliary, now studying for her G.E.D. This chance connection between these two women will reroute their lives and the lives of their children.
Suspending Reality by Kelly Rimmer
Esther feels like her family of four has become a family of three with a live-in social work project. She is never more aware of her failure to fit in than at her eighteenth birthday party, when the guest of honor becomes the odd one out. One impulsive act of rebellion will change everything – whether or not Esther is ready to deal with the consequences.
Cheryl lives a drama-free life – and its killing her. Motherhood has been a disappointment and the days are melting into one another, one endless blur of nothingness, funded by welfare payments and a small town that seems to be shrinking in on her. Escaping the monotony is becoming a matter of life or death.
Carla is beautiful and wealthy, and ambitious to the core. She’s new in town to find a fresh start, and it doesn’t take much effort to line up a suitable job, then partner and home. The question for Carla is, can a promising future cancel out a shadowed past?
Their lives couldn’t be more different – but Esther, Cheryl and Carla will all discover that finding peace will come at a cost…someone might have to die.
Melt (The Rough Romance Trilogy) by Selene Castrovilla
Set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz, this tale is both a chilling story of abuse and a timeless romance.
Sixteen-year-old good girl Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park—where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts). There, she meets Joey—a bad boy who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? And then there’s his family secret which is about to be unleashed.
Dorothy is the voice of reason—until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?
Tiger’s Promise (A Tiger’s Curse Novella) by Colleen Houck
A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story.
Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father’s threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences.
As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she’s willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.
Have No Shame (When Civil Rights and Forbidden Love Collide) by Melissa Foster
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms–and her own beliefs–when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down. A meaningful combination of romantic suspense and coming of age at its very best.
PLEASE NOTE: This book contains TWO versions of this novel. Readers have the option to read with or without the southern dialect in the narrative (two versions, one novel, one purchase). Both versions reflect the exact same story, with the only difference being the style of the narrative.
Nobody said life was easy. If you like reading about the obstacles we face on our journeys, you will likely find something here. If you simply want to read a good story—you’re in luck there too. Sit and stay awhile, pour yourself a tall cold sweet tea and soak up some spring rays—you’ve earned it!
Note: Many of the titles featured in this story are also available through IndieBound. Enjoy!