100 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 9-31Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “1934”

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

A six-year-old Marie-Laure tours the Natural History Museum in Paris, 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, not realizing the Goddess of the Earth had cursed the jewel—whoever found it and kept it would live forever but would suffer misfortune after misfortune until the jewel was returned to its home: the sea. Eventually, the jewel came into the possession of a duke in Lorraine, who had it locked away for 200 years inside the museum. The tour director suggests that a diamond that large could buy five Eiffel Towers. Marie-Laure wonders aloud why someone doesn’t just throw the accursed object back into the sea, and a boy says, “When was the last time you saw someone throw five Eiffel Towers into the sea?” (23). One month later, Marie-Laure is blind.