All the Light We Cannot See Part Eight: Chapters 121–128 Summary & Analysis

Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

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All the Light We Cannot See Part Eight: Chapters 121–128 Summary & Analysis

Part Eight: 9 August 1944

Chapter 121 Summary: Fort National

On the third day of the shelling of Saint-Malo, a stray American shell hits Fort National where 380 Frenchmen are being held against their will. Nine are killed instantly.

Chapter 122 Summary: In the Attic   

Marie-Laure has lost track of time and does not know how long she has been in the attic. She hears the German officer moving below her. He has been sleeping in her bed. Next, desperate and beginning to hallucinate from thirst, she has a conversation with her father, in which he reminds her not to make noise, lest the German hear her. As the American shelling of the city begins again, she uses the noise as cover to open the first can. It is green beans, which she devours with pleasure.

Chapter 123 Summary: The Heads

Werner crawls through the rubble, attempting to position the radio antenna so it will work. Volkheimer insists that they will be killed if they try to use the grenades to blow open the stairwell. Werner calculates how much more power remains in their batteries: about one more day of light and radio. All of their food and water are long gone.

Chapter 124 Summary: Delirium

In a morphine-induced haze, von Rumpel tries to puzzle out where the little house might be. He knows that Etienne did not have it when he was arrested and sent to Fort National. He decides that he will search the house one more time.

Chapter 125 Summary: Water

Marie-Laure is desperately thirsty. She leaves the attic and climbs through the wardrobe. Two buckets of water are just outside her bedroom on the sixth floor. As she leaves the wardrobe, she imagines her grandfather and Etienne as boys, holding her hands, protecting and guiding her. She drinks her fill while listening to the German ransacking a room several floors below. She fills the bean can with more water, grabs her novel from the floor, and returns to the attic.

Chapter 126 Summary: The Beams

Werner and Volkheimer talk about the Prussian forests and the coal country from which they each escaped. Werner would give anything…

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