107 pages 3 hours read

Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2014

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Part 1, Chapters 9-31

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “1934”

Chapter 9 Summary: “Muséum National de l’Histoire Naturelle”

A 6-year-old Marie-Laure tours the Natural History Museum, where her father works as a locksmith, with other children. The tour director tells them a fantastic story about a jewel kept in the museum called the Sea of Flames. In the story their guide tells, the goddess of the earth made the jewel for her lover, the god of the sea. She sent it down a river toward her love, but a prince stole the jewel from a dry riverbed. She cursed the jewel until it is returned to its true home: the sea. Meanwhile, the jewel, locked away for 200 years inside the museum, brings its owner immortal life, but destroys everyone the owner loves. It is a large blue diamond with a red center; it is priceless. It is just one of the many precious objects contained in the museum. Marie-Laure is not impressed with the story, or with the supposed value of the diamond. One month later, she is blind.

Chapter 10 Summary: “Zollverein”

Seven-year-old Werner Pfennig grows up in a coal-mining town called Zollverein, just outside Essen, in Germany. He and his sister, Jutta, are orphans; they are being raised in the Children’s House by Frau Elena, a Protestant nun from Alsace.

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By Anthony Doerr