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Bartholomew Lampion is born in Bright Beach, California, on a day of tragedy and terror, when the lives of everyone in his family are changed forever. Remarkable events accompany his birth, and everyone agrees that his unusual eyes are the most beautiful they have ever seen.
On this same day, a thousand miles away, a ruthless man learns that he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew. He doesn't know who Bartholomew is, but he embarks on a search that will become the purpose of his life. If ever he finds the right Bartholomew, he will deal mercilessly with him.
And in San Francisco, a girl is born, the result of a violent rape. Her survival is miraculous, and her destiny is mysteriously linked to the fates of Barty and the man who stalks him.
At the age of three, Barty Lampion is blinded when surgeons reluctantly remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. As the growing boy copes with his blindness and proves to be a prodigy, his mother, an exceptional woman, counsels him that all things happen for a reason, that there is meaning even in his suffering, and that he will affect the lives of people yet unknown to him in ways startling and profound.
At thirteen, Bartholomew regains his sight. How he regains it, why he regains it, and what happens as his amazing life unfolds results in a breathtaking journey of courage, heart-stopping suspense, and high adventure. His mother once told him that every person's life has an effect on every other person's, in often unknowable ways, and Barty's eventful life indeed entwines with others in ways that will astonish and move everyone who reads his story.