Gail Poag Smith

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

To answer questions about All the Light We Cannot See, please sign up.
Sam Abney
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Susan Zinner
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lorel The book is ultimately a bummer. Not that I wanted a Hollywood ending but the story seemed to die out
Carol Shane
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Maureen Schoolman when marie is in the grotto, kneeling down at the water, she asks werner whether "it's" in the water, says it has to be in the water. she asks for his visual confirmation more than once after she placed it in the water. when she left and gave him the key and he went back in, perhaps to be with her in a way, and i think at that point the house had washed back up into the grotto. i believe he put the diamond back in the water because that's what she wanted... but took the little house with the key to have a piece of her forever. i just finished the book tonite and it's almost 3:00 a.m. and i can't sleep. the book is too much with me.... so very intense, sad, so so sad.
Russ Smith
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
B I'm late to the party, but just finished the book. My take was that Werner - prodigy that he was, like his nephew years later - realized the house was a puzzle box. He was in love with Marie-Laure (sp?), kept the box, despite telling her it had washed away, and then opened it. He found the stone, realized that was what she wanted sent to sea, and let it go - keeping the box and key as mementoes of her. Those were his true prizes.
Kempey Sr
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
D'Arcy Werner revisits the grotto (uses the key Marie gave him to enter). The SoF is not heavy enough and the tiny house floats in the water. Werner picks it up, studies it, and because he has small intricate hands and a mechanical mind, discovers its secret rather easily. He understands that Marie meant the SoF - not the house - must remain in the water. He drops the SoF into the water where it lies "Mantled with algae, bedecked with barnacles. Crawled over by snails." He puts the key back in the little house, safekeeping Marie's treasure and secret (he has no idea about the supposed curse). By placing the key in the house - and returning the little house to Marie - he ensures that she will be able to retrieve her treasure when it is safe to do so. She never retrieves it no matter how much it "Stirs among the pebbles." [The author leaves us with the insinuation that some "Deagol" or "Smeagol" will unearth it and revisit the curse, etc. as it wasn't destroyed in a Mount Doom]. Humanity may never learn its lesson as symbolized by the SoF.
Jennifer Leigh I agree with all the replies about Werner going back and retrieving the wood house puzzle and leaving the stone. Marie Laure gave him the key after she asked how they would find each other, so the grotto would be the place he'd return to wait for her or be close to her....Then he returns the stone to the sea when he finds the little wooden house...lets it fall through the sea water to the ground of the grotto where it rests year after year, "mantled with algae, bedeckled with barnacles," signifying the curse was lifted...the curse symbolizing perhaps the darkness and loss of war, contrasting all the beauty and light that is the diamond, and all that is innocent and good in the world. The's a puzzle box that entrapped the beautiful and cursed diamond with all its light and darkness...just as Marie Laure was trapped in the same house in all the inner and literal beauty, innocence, light and darkness she experienced as a blind girl living through a war surrounded by the wonders inside that house and the wonders her father introduced to her, the inhabitants of the house, and the world outside. And appropriately so, Werner takes the house with him, because he longs, "by some miracle, to keep this going," that he would "walk anywhere to make it happen, bear anything," to stay with Marie Laure and experience the wonders within the actual tall house. That the house is returned to her with the key to the grotto...a key like her father used to craft. The key symbolizes all the keys her father gave her that brought her happiness...all the wonder and beauty he unlocked for her so that she could see the light, despite being blind. Just as in in the other characters they could see the light despite living in the darkness of war. Just as Marie Laure was the light in the darkness of war to Werner.
Jdsmith43 Leaving the diamond in the grotto means the grotto cannot die.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Rebekah It is in the sea! It is symbolic of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which Captain Nemo leaves a priceless pearl in a grotto near Sri Lanka to grow in wealth & size. The implication was Nemo left it so that later he would have a curiosity no one else had; Marie-Laure twists that a little more, and instead throws an object responsible for the imprisonment of her father and uncle, as well as her own imprisonment in her house, away. She's rejecting Nemo's curatorial legacy, choosing to become not an amasser of shells but someone who understands the intricacy of living organisms.
Karen Buchanan
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Catherine D'Agostino I found the responses interesting, especially those suggesting that Werner went back and found the diamond. I remember thinking when I read the rape scene near the end that "Werner must have the stone." The scene seemed so out of place and served no purpose .... unless Werner had the stone, thereby cursing his sister, his family, while he was in possession of the stone.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Niels Dinnesen
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Soo Hee Lee
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Dayle Ohlau
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ricardo Santos I went to the grotto and picked up the stone. I have it. I can't die
Rick Presley
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
thebluerutabaga Marie-Laure had Werner put the Sea of Flames in the grotto, returning it to the ocean, fulfilling the ancient legend concerning the diamond. Decades later, the key to the grotto is given to Marie-Laure as Werner's possessions are given back to their respective owners. While she has the key, the diamond is left forever in the sea, ending the curse.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jessica <spoiler>I believe that yes, the jewel was still in the sea. I think Werner went back and emptied it there. Or maybe it fell out. Otherwise, why would the author include that very brief chapter towards the book's end about the jewel's history and it being covered with lichens and snails? Even if the jewel was still in the house, I think Marie-Laure herself would have returned it to the sea. I think her seemingly eternal life (since she's still alive and well in 2014) is just supposed to argue against the superstition about the Sea of Flames. I don't think it's meant to suggest that Marie-Laure is pocketing it in her old age.</spoiler>
Sheryl Flores
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Shannon Thurman What does, All The Light We Cannot See mean to the author?
Bookworm Hmm...if you read the book you would know that his parents are dead and he lives in an orphanage. his only choices in life were join the Hitler youth or work in the mines.
Robyn Collins I agree. It would have been almost impossible for a young boy not to go at that time.
Judy Lindow Let me say this about keys. My father just died at 89 … there was a lot of chaos and discovery towards the end of life. He left me 89 keys - discovered in the days between his fall and his dying. Having a key is in someways more exhilarating than having the contents. Yes, the contents had meaning and a story to him, but prior to finding what a key opened it's possibilities were endless ("what you might have been").

I was relieved to see that others had the same question at the end. I went back to read the pages where she leaves the house (in the ocean), the key (with W), and then M finds the key. I think the diamond is in the grotto. The more significant question is why W chose to keep the house rather than the diamond. And this is where the author in some ways leaves it to the reader, as he suggests when characters question why the ending to the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is unclear.
David Greene Go back and read chapter one, the old man telling the children about the stone.
Rebecca Davis My understanding is that it's in the sea water of the old kennel in Saint Malo.

Marie puts the model house (containing the stone) in the sea within the old kennel before fleeing the city. She gives Werner the key as they part. Later in the story, Jutta gives the model house back to Marie. Inside the house is not the stone, but the key to the kennel. There is also a chapter written from the perspective of the stone, in which it references the snails (which line the walls of the kennel) and the algae.

I took that to mean that Werner went back to the kennel, found the house, opened it, found the stone, left it in the water as Marie had intended, but took the house and put the key inside it.
Roberta Kobbe I don't remember Marie-Laure telling or sharing with Werner the contents of the house/box. She just left it in the grotto, insistent that it be in the water. WHAT IF...Werner returned and took the Sea of Flames from the water, and had it on him when he was killed? Possibly, taking it back from the sea caused his illness and his death; in that the curse was "reversed" because the sea was denied it's gem?
Marti Graham went back to the the way I interpreted it
Robin Allard
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Wendy Forte
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Rubin Street Max has it. Has he holds the house he works out that it opens. Why add this into the story if it had no meaning?
JEFFREY I got the impression Werner left it in the sea with the snails in the grotto and then left and later would have put the key into the box. So the snails and sea cover it and there it rests with no one to find it. Maybe yeah, the grotto will live on and not get touched. Jutta has the key now and need not know what it's for but that is where it is. I think. I dunno
Nyra E It was to wordy and never explained what happened to the stone. Not a big fan.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ruth Glen
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Hannah JB
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Beth Hawes what happened to Marie-Laure's father
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Gayle Becker why did Marie Laure give Werner the key
Harsha Vardhan Chapter 176:Sea of flames you will find your answer here.
Carol What happened to the jewel
Paul Barnett The stone is lost to the sea. Werner would not betray her on her wish that it remain in the water. Werner went back for the house because it represented everything to him. He was the type person to throw two dozen Eiffel Towers in the ocean.
Hui Werner did not keep the stone. He put it in back in the grotto. This action is consistent with his behavior earlier, when he received 75 marks from the officer whose radio he fixed. That was an astronomical sum to an orphan boy at that time. He gave it all to Frau Elena.
Barbara Hodkin
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Isaac Baley
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Melodyz_07 Yes it is in the sea
Valerie Nicolosi
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tricia meaning of the title
Wayne N Diane Barber Where is the Stone...Werner grew up in an orphanage with a caregiver that was born in Alsace France. She told the children stories in French.

The story of The Sea of Flames sounds like french folklore hence Frau Elena would have told Werner and all the other children in the orphanage the story of The Sea of Flames.

So when Warner went back to the grotto and opened the model,he saw 'The Sea of Flames' and knew exactly what it was. He put it stone back in the grotto, and kept the model.
Anna What is the school that Werner goes to in All the Light We Cannot See?
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kathy i'd like thoughts on the meaning of the title: What is all the light we cannot see?
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Sandi Goldman what-happened-to-the-sea-of-flames-stone
B Holden what happened to the sea of flames stone
Sue Cook What happened in the rape scene?
Lisa The author told us, when the contents of Werners bag was reveled, that the minature house was damaged. Perhaps the key remained (because a key is probably bigger) and the diamond slipped out. Perhaps the stone is on the ground where Werner died.
Blueposey How is it that Marie Can see?
Jerry Wunderlich
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
A.M.KAUFMAN what happened to the SEA OF FLAMES in "all the light we can not see"
Doc Jeff Schneider
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Joanne does werner throw the sea of flames into the sea
Theresa Blackman what happened to the stone
Dar Sumners What happened to the diamond?
Diane Where did Von Rumple die?
Valerie what happened to the diamond?
Image for All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more