Something strange is going on.
All over the world, pain is manifesting itself as light. Cuts and bruises blaze and flash. Arthritic joints glow. Injured troops emit radiant white shards into the desert night. On the news, they're calling it 'The Illumination'.
As this breathtaking phenomenon takes holds, a private journal of love notes passes into the keeping of Carol Ann Page, a lonely hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other people. Each of them will find their lives changed forever in this masterful novel of human warmth and sheer invention - a story which spans decades and continents, telescopes from the global to the most intimate scale, and shines a spectacular light on the wounds we all bear.